Jeffrey L. Bleustein plans to retire as chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc., on April 30, 2005, but he’ll continue as chairman of the board of directors. Bleustein will be succeeded by James L. Ziemer, 54, currently vice president and chief financial officer of Harley-Davidson. Ziemer was elected to the board on Dec. 9, increasing the board size to 10 members.
In 1981, Bleustein, 65, 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. He was named president and chief operating officer in 1997, and chairman of the board and CEO 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.
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