Harley-Davidson, Inc. Conducts Annual Shareholder Meeting
MILWAUKEE, April 25, 2009: -- Harley-Davidson, Inc. today held its annual shareholder meeting at the Harley-Davidson Museum.
Jim Ziemer, retiring Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc., provided an update on business progress to more than 500 shareholders in attendance.
"We take great pride in the heritage of our company," Ziemer said. "And in the context of today's economic environment, we're especially proud of the fundamental durability of Harley-Davidson and the remarkable resilience that our people have demonstrated repeatedly over the past 106 years."
During today's meeting, the Company announced that the Harley-Davidson Board of Directors has elected current Director Barry Allen as Chairman of the Board, effective today. Allen, 62, succeeds Jeffrey Bleustein, who did not stand for re-election. Bleustein, 69, was Chairman for the past 11 years and a member of the Harley-Davidson Board for 13 years. He retired as CEO of Harley-Davidson, Inc. in 2005. Allen, a 35-year telecommunications executive, currently serves as Senior Advisor to Providence Equity Partners as well as President of Allen Enterprises. Allen has been a member of the Harley-Davidson Board for 17 years.
"On behalf of the entire Board and the Company's shareholders, we thank Jeff for his commitment and many contributions to Harley-Davidson over the years," said Allen. "It is a true honor to follow him as Chairman of this great company."
Shareholders elected four directors at the meeting. Elected as directors to serve until the 2012 annual meeting of shareholders were Martha Brooks, who is new to the Board; and returning directors Don James, Jim Norling and Jim Ziemer. Brooks has been President and Chief Operating Officer of Novelis Inc. since 2007, and recently announced plans to retire from Novelis in early May. Brooks is also a director of International Paper Company.
The Board of Directors approved a cash dividend of $0.10 per share for the second quarter of 2009 to be payable June 19, 2009 to holders of record of the Company's common stock on June 4, 2009.
Shareholders ratified Ernst & Young as the Company's auditor for 2009; and approved the Harley-Davidson, Inc. 2009 incentive stock plan. Shareholders also approved a non-binding shareholder proposal to reorganize the Board of Directors into one Class, elected annually. The Company said the Board would consider the matter at an upcoming meeting.
Presiding over his last meeting as CEO, Jim Ziemer reflected on his 40-year career at Harley-Davidson and introduced to shareholders Keith Wandell, who will succeed him as President and CEO on May 1, 2009. "Leading this company has been a true privilege," said Ziemer. "I've seen many remarkable things over those 40 years. Harley-Davidson has grown from a company that made only 20 thousand motorcycles a year, to become one of the world's leading brands. I have great conviction that Harley-Davidson will emerge from the current downturn strongly positioned for the future."