Motorcycle manufacturer recruits CEO from in-house

Royal Enfield Motors, manufacturer of the Bullet motorcycle line and the world’s oldest motorcycle brand, has appointed a new CEO.

Venki Padmanabhan will now lead the India-based brand, which is distributed in the United States by Classic Motorworks. Padmanabha first joined Royal Enfield two years ago, acting as chief operating officer under then-CEO R.L. Ravichandran.

Over the past two years, the company posted a 21 percent growth in sales volume and a return to profitability.

Prior to joining Royal Enfield, Padmanabhan, a U.S. citizen and an overseas citizen of India, was managing director of Chrysler’s South East Asia Global Sourcing Office, which is based in Chennai, India. He was responsible for $1 billion of material sourced to its parent manufacturing units in the United States.

“Dr. Padmanabhan has already proven to be an outstanding leader for Royal Enfield while working alongside R.L. Ravichandran as company’s chief operating officer,” Kevin Mahoney, president of Classic Motorworks, said in a press release. “His worldwide experience in the automotive industry and passion for bringing new life to historic brands make him the ideal candidate to build on the success from recent years and continue Royal Enfield’s growth as global brand.”

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