It’s Tuesday, and in the world of electrics that means another Zero Motorcycles press release, and another weekly confirmation that Asphalt & Rubber is still on the Santa Cruz company’s “ultra double-secret probation” list of publications that no longer get media communiqués and press invites to its media events. That clearly hasn’t stopped us though, as today’s news release confirms what we already knew: Zero Motorcycles CEO Gene Banman has stepped down from his position in the company, although he will continue to serve on the company’s Board of Directors.

Gene Banman was employee #9 at Zero Motorcycles and quickly rose from being the company’s COO to the company’s CEO. Banman is also the person responsible for securing investment from the Invus Group, the wallet behind Zero, which recently just invested $17 million into the company (more on that later), not $26 million as Zero deceivingly announced, and all other publications lazily reiterated (it’s pointing out things like this “colorful version of the truth” that landed us in hot water with Zero in the first place by the way).

As we predicted, Zero’s current COO, Karl Wharton, will fill in as an interim-CEO. Zero doesn’t go on to mention if it will be looking for a permanent replacement or not, but our sources and common business practice suggest Wharton is filling Banman’s shoes permanently in this position (considering the timing of his hire too, which was several months ago, he was brought on-board specifically for this transition). Wharton has some sizable issues to contend with in his new role, it’ll be interesting to see how he and the team at Zero Motorcycles tackle them in the coming months.

Source: Zero Motorcycles

  • Zeitgeist

    Karl is tough but fair. He is not a “yes” man by any stretch hes fairly blunt about thoughts and expectations while at the same time if you back up your position with the numbers and facts he will support your idea. He likes mental banter and open discussion not the “We all agree thats a great idea” then after a meeting everyone grumbles. That will be the hardest to cross in the overly PC world of US business.

  • Zeitgeist

    Oh yeah nice press shot at the wall. One of my fav east bay stops when I used to commute back and forth.

  • Bruce Monighan

    That is the lamest markting photo I have seen in decades. It looks like a photo mural with a couple of actors in front. Her boots are not to be believed and the posing is uninspired.

    Great news reporting though, you guys earn you “black balled” status, congratulations!

  • Yup, that is the wall. A weekly destination for me…gotta love that view.

  • Zeitgeist

    The funny thing is with the exception of obvious set up lighting the wall does look like that when you arrive sometimes. Like a giant mural except it moves and you can even sometimes watch the police and news choppers to south in Oakland circling around. Man I miss the Bay Area. Jensen have a pass for me sometime soon.

  • Zerofan

    The fact that nearly all people of the Zero executive-board have been replaced within the last twelve months shows, that building an electric motorcycle is just not enough to succeed. You cannot shun the industry and the dealers permanently and expect that they will love you for that.
    Being electric is just not enough to succeed. Even the advantages of the motorcycles are not shown any more on the website, especially the high torque. How much power do these bikes have? They are tremendously powerful, but Zero prefers to hide details about it. Why?