Some select reading from November 21st, 2011, Business news regarding: Keith Wandell, CEO of Harley Davidson, and some commentary...
Keith Wandell, 61, took over as Harley's CEO weeks after the stock, which peaked above $75 in late 2006, bottomed at $8.20. His hiring in April 2009 from the No. 2 position at Johnson Controls Inc., the largest U.S. auto supplier, was not well- received at Harley in Milwaukee or on Wall Street. The announcement sent shares down 5.9 percent. They have recovered to $35.54, falling 2.2 percent at the close today (11-21-11) in New York.
At his first meeting, Wandell, blunt and direct, sat and listened as the meeting quickly turned into a complaint session. He cut it off and focused the dealers on the most important issues.
He cut it off and told the dealers how things were going to run. Period. The most important issues: equals MONEY.
"I'm just going to tell you exactly what I think," Wandell said. "I want to hear what you think as well, but I'm not going to take a lot of time to try to soft-sell anything. We don't have time to sit around and make each other feel good."
Translation: I'll listen to what you have to say, but if I don't like it or the board doesn't think it's in the company's best financial interests, you're history. fired. gone. goodbye. don't let the door slam you in the ass on the way out.
He has since spent entire days with the group resolving issues, Pilavin said. From concerns raised in those meetings, Wandell has agreed to changes that protect the dealers. He has trimmed their number in the U.S. and stepped up audits to guard against dealers selling below minimum advertised prices, he said.
"Entire days"? Are you kidding me? Big fucking whippity doo! You notice how they say things without any substance? What changes and how are dealers protected? Obviously stepping up audits to find those selling below minimum advertised prices means that dealers were selling under the minimum price, probably with good reason; to stay alive in a losing economy.
Wandell has overseen the closing of four plants and the cutting of about 3,800 jobs, decisions made before he took over. He has trimmed production to match demand and accelerated Harley's push into fast-growing markets including China and India.
Can you say deflection? "I didn't cut those jobs." "Those decisions were made before I got here." Yes, but NOR did you save those jobs or those factories when YOU were here. You watched them close. You watched the workers get off the assembly line and get into the unemployment line. Or you probably played golf that day. Instead you did, as most corporations greedy for profit do, you went abroad, straight to China and India. Fuck America you say? We hear you loud and clear.
"He's a tremendous operator," Craig Kennison, a senior analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co. in Milwaukee, said in an interview. "He knows how to produce high value at low cost."
He does? Please explain "high value at low cost." I find that very intriguing and want to know more... Is he talking about the motorcycles Harley builds (which I highly doubt) or the shareholders stock worth?
Harley, which received 25 percent of revenue outside the U.S. in 2006, forecasts 40 percent of sales from international markets by 2014. More than half of Harley's dealerships are outside the U.S.
Loud and clear. Fuck America.
Now a proud owner of a Road King Classic bike, Wandell has ridden in motorcycle rallies to the Great Wall in China, up Mount Fuji in Japan, and from Arizona to Sturgis, South Dakota.
May I have your attention please: Everybody be Impressed. Angels sing hymns in the hallowed halls of Milwaukee. The CEO of Harley now owns a Road King Classic. Did he buy it or accept it I wonder?
Wandell is leading Harley to its first annual sales gain in four years. The stock has more than doubled since Wandell's hiring was announced, outperforming the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, which has gained 49 percent over that same period. His total compensation in 2010 was $6.42 million.
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Our first gain in four years! I'm as giddy as a virgin school girl on prom night! ... and you only made how much? 6.42 million... six point forty-two million dollars in 2010 alone???? There's one thing you can count on at any corporation, that there's a water cooler somewhere, filled with Kool Aid. Drink up boys, this ships setting sail!
"I know there was a lot of early angst about Keith going in to Harley and not being lifelong Harley guy," McDonald said. "But passion around the brand, focus on dealers and product -- those are things Keith just really excels at. He has the ability to present something in the boardroom and then go and talk to the guys on the shop floor. He came from humble beginnings and earned his way."
Passion around the brand? Are you kidding me with this corporate mumbo jumbo. This sounds like shit Pauly Sr. and Jr. would say every week, "passion" my ass. Who gives a shit... seriously, who? The guys on the floor are probably scared shitless to tell this guy his bikes are overpriced pieces of crap built with foreign made parts from ages old technologies. And this, ladies and gentlemen, was a press release.... why? Because there's fat cats smelling cheese, and the trick is to get them to eat stinky cheese and believe it's the creme' de'la creme.