Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) continues to benefit from the goodwill surrounding the permanent appointment of Jochen Zeitz as president and CEO. The motorcycle maker's stock had been up as much as 5% at midday Friday.
Because Zeitz is seen as a turnaround specialist, investors may be seeing Harley-Davidson as more likely now to reverse its secular decline. Zeitz was reportedly a driving force behind the bike maker's LiveWire electric motorcycle.
He had been serving as the company's board chairman when then-president and -CEO Matthew Levatich abruptly resigned several months ago, and Zeitz was asked to serve in an interim capacity.
Harley-Davidson faces significant challenges regardless of who is heading up the company, as the motorcycle industry is transforming. When the bike maker recently announced that its roadmap for the future would be undergoing changes, some were skeptical, but others think these changes will build on the company's existing strengths.
Although Zeitz has experience at helping a consumer products company reverse its decline, as he did at Puma, a motorcycle maker is different from a sporting goods company, and no one on the board of directors has any industry experience, either.
Shares of Harley-Davidson are still down 45% so far in 2020 despite their recent increase.