Zero Motorcycles’ CEO retires

Gene Bauman, CEO of Zero Motorcycles, is retiring from operational management of the company.

Bauman was hired as chief operating officer in 2007. He was Zero Motorcycles’ ninth employee and became CEO within 60 days of his start. Bauman led the effort to find professional investors for the company, raised tens of millions of dollars in funding and built the company’s executive team. He will stay on the board of directors, while day-to-day operations will be led by COO Karl Wharton, who joined Zero in February.

“It’s been a tremendous experience, getting Zero Motorcycles to this point,” Bauman said in a press release. “I feel proud of the enormous progress we have made and of the excellent management team we have put in place that will take the company to the next level. I plan to get some R&R and travel and then do some part-time work with non-profits. I look forward to continuing to work with the company as a board member.”

Bauman’s retirement follows closely in the heels of the departure of Zero Motorcycles’ founder Neal Saiki. Saiki left the company in early March to re-enter a human-powered helicopter competition that he participated in while studying at Cal Poly, San Louis Obispo in 1989.

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