Harley-Davidson salary cuts part of COVID-19 response

Today, Harley-Davidson, Inc. announced additional actions it is taking in response to impacts of COVID-19 on its business.

“The effects of COVID-19 on economies around the world have been swift and unprecedented. It is essential for us to respond quickly, adapt and position the company to manage near-term challenges while preparing to reenergize the business for the recovery and beyond,” said Jochen Zeitz, acting president and CEO, Harley-Davidson.

In response to the near-term impacts of COVID-19, the company is taking the following actions to lower costs:

  • Significantly reducing all non-essential spending
  • Temporarily reducing salaries
  • CEO and the Board of Directors will forgo salary/cash compensation
  • 30 percent reduction for executive leadership
  • 10 to 20 percent reduction for most other salaried employees in the United States
  • No merit increases for 2020
  • Implementing a hiring freeze

Outside of the U.S., the company will take similar actions as based on regulations governing each of its operating locations. Salary reductions will be reassessed at the end of the second quarter as the company continues to closely monitor business conditions.

The majority of its global production employees are currently on temporary layoff. Medical benefits remain intact for all global employees.

“We understand that navigating this new reality has a real impact on our employees,” added Zeitz. “Their dedication to Harley-Davidson is never taken for granted, and we thank them for supporting one another and rallying together as we manage the profound impact of COVID-19.”

Harley-Davidson will release its first quarter 2020 financial results on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.


One comment

  1. I haven't looked at the specific HD executive compensation package, but for most public companies the salary component is usually a small piece of total compensation. You want to really move the needle, then shut off stock options. During a crisis stock prices can be cheap and there is often a lot more upside to them than when times are good.

    For each executive that moves on, you can typically save 20-50 front line jobs. I know what cuts I'd be looking at.