The past year has been a tumultuous one for the Motorcycle Aftermarket Group (MAG). In November 2017, the conglomerate filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections, as it restructured its debt from missteps during the economic recession.
That process concluded in April of this year, with the company’s creditors (Monomoy Capital Partners, BlueMountain Capital, and Contrarian Partners) taking control and ownership of MAG.
Now trying to move forward, MAG has announced that Mike Buettner will become the company’s interim CEO, while Bob Peiser will serve as chairman of MAG’s Board of Directors.
The news comes as the Sturgis motorcycle rally kicks off in South Dakota, where both Buettner and Peiser will be in attendance, in order to meet customers and dealers who were affected by MAG’s restructuring. The pair will also be at the AIMExpo and the Tucker Dealer show, later this year.
Zero Motorcycles has finally filled its vacant CEO position, announcing that Samuel Paschel will take over the reigns at the electric motorcycle company, and replacing Richard Walker who left Zero in July 2016.
A newcomer to the motorcycle industry, Paschel has a product development focused resume, and most recently was the Chief Commercial Officer at Skullcandy. He has also held management and leadership positions at Burton Snowboards and Giro Sports Design.
Today, RevZilla announced the departure of Bucci as its CEO, effective on January 13, 2017. After that point in time, fellow RevZilla Co-Founder Matt Kull will take on the job as interim CEO, while RevZilla continues to look for a full-time replacement. RevZillians shouldn’t worry too much about the leadership change though, as Bucci will continue his customer-facing activities with RevZilla, and he will also remain an integral part of RevZilla’s advisory team. This announcement also doesn’t affect Bucci’s position on the Board of Directors for Comoto, the holding company that oversees both RevZilla and Cycle Gear.
AMA Pro Racing has a new CEO, and it’s a name you will likely recognize. Consulting for AMA Pro Racing through the 2015, Michael Lock will now take the reigns of the France Family’s two-wheeled racing organization.
This announcement means that Lock will replace Michael Gentry as AMA Pro Racing’s de facto leader, who will continue with his COO position within the company, effective November 1s, 2015.
“Adding Michael Lock to the executive team shows our commitment to elevating professional motorcycle racing in North America,” said Jim France, Principal of AMA Pro Racing. “His expertise will be critical to the long-term success of the sport, and we are excited to have him join the team.”
There is a management change coming for Ducati, as Jason Chinnock is about to be named the new CEO of Ducati North America. This means that Chinnock will be replacing Dominique Cheraki, who will move into a new role with Ducati in Bologna, as Ducati’s new Dealer Network Development Director. If the name Jason Chinnock sounds familiar to Ducatisti, it should, as he has previously worked at Ducati North America in sales, marketing, network positions, all at the director level. Chinnock left Ducati North America in May 2013, taking on marketing position with Lamborghini, where he worked alongside previous Ducati North America CEO Michael Lock.
The big news this week is the Erik Buell Racing’s assets were bought, as a going concern, by Atlantic Metals Group LLC. Heading that purchase effort is Bruce Belfer, who will takeover as CEO of Erik Buell Racing, while the big news is that Erik Buell will remain as the company’s president. Talking in an interview with the Milwaukee Business Journal, Belfer explained that he intends to restart EBR’s core business of making motorcycles, saying that “In [his] opinion, what was a viable manufacturing operation had become distracted by a single-customer consulting operation.” This statement is of course refers to EBR’s work for Hero MotoCorp, which the Indian company bought during the receivership process for $2.8 million.
In an interview with Cycle World’s Bruno de Prato, Yan Haimei, the CEO OF Benelli, announced that the historic Italian brand will be returning to American soil.
Haimei says that Benelli will make its US return by the end of 2015, though she was not clear on what models the Chinese-owned brand would make available.
“Returning to a market as competitive and selective as the American one will require that we further refine and increase our efforts, adding more personalized models and looking back to our history,” explained Haimei to Cycle World.
Our sources are reporting that Cristiano Silei, former Ducati VP of Sales and Marketing, has been tapped to become the new CEO at Dainese S.p.A. Silei will takeover the head position from Frederico Minoli, who many Italian motorcycle fans know as the former CEO of Ducati Motor Holding. Loyal Asphalt & Rubber readers will remember that the aptly named Investcorp recently purchased 80% of Dainese’s private stock, for €130 million, leaving Lino Dainese as the 20% minority shareholder. Frederico Minoli was instrumental in helping Lino Dainese sell his namesake company, and it is perhaps now unsurprising that the former Ducati CEO has pulled from the bench Italian marque for his replacement.
In a surprise press release late-today, Harley-Davidson announced that Matt Levatich will be taking over as the company’s CEO, starting May 1, 2015. Levatich will replace current CEO Keith Wandell, who took on his role in the company on May 1, 2009 — in the middle of the great economic recession. The news is perhaps less shocking to industry insiders and analysts, who are familiar with the reasons behind Wandell’s tenure as CEO, and where Harley-Davidson stands today. For sometime now we have been wondering when Harley-Davidson would initiate the next phase of its business plan, and whether Wandell would be a part of the company going forward.
More change is afoot at Triumph Motorcycles North America, as it has come to light that Greg Heichelbech is no longer the CEO of Triumph’s North American operation. Recently named by Powersports Business as the motorcycle industry’s “Executive of the Year” for 2014, Heichelbech’s departure comes after being with Triumph for the past three years.
Cycle World is reporting that Massimo Bordi has retired from his post as CEO of MV Agusta, as his contract has not been extended by the Italian motorcycle maker. If you recall, Bordi was brought into MV Agusta by the late Claudio Castiglioni, after the Castiglioni family bought MV Agusta from Harley-Davidson.
Making his son Giovanni Castiglioni President of the company, and Bordi the CEO of MV Agusta, many saw Claudio Castiglioni’s choices in management appointments as a way to help ensure that there was a steady hand was on the wheel as the young Giovanni learned the ropes of his father’s business.
So, for many involved with the company in Italy, Bordi’s departure is perhaps less of a surprise than it is a natural and expected evolution at MV Agusta. For many outside of Italy, who are not caught up in the romanticism of the brand, the news could require a bit more than a casual glance though.