Jeffrey L. Bleustein announced his intention to retire as Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc., effective April 30, 2005.
Bleustein, 65, will continue as Chairman of the Board of Directors. The Board announced that his successor as CEO will be James L. Ziemer, 54, currently Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. Ziemer was elected to the Board on Dec. 9, increasing the Board size to ten members.
In 1981, Bleustein was one of a group of 13 executives who purchased Harley-Davidson from AMF. He became Senior Vice President of the company in 1988 and, in 1990, was promoted to Executive Vice President, followed by President and Chief Operating Officer in 1997, and Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer in 1998.
Under Bleustein's leadership, Harley-Davidson's annual revenues grew from $1.5 billion in 1996 to $4.6 billion in 2003 and net income grew from $143 million to $761 million over the same period.
Bleustein serves on the Board of Directors for the Florentine Opera Company, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, the Greater Milwaukee Committee where he leads a Task Force on Diversity, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and he is a Regent Emeritus of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He also serves on the board of the Brunswick Corporation and Kohler Co.
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