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Tuesday 11 August 2020


Harley Announces Chief Digital Officer

In another sign that recently appointed CEO and President Jochen Zeitz is intending to "push all the buttons" when it comes to dragging Harley-Davidson kicking and screaming into the 21st century, the company has announced the appointment of Jagdish Krishnan as Chief Digital Officer.

In its release the company explains that "a holistic, forward-focused consumer experience will be central to Harley-Davidson's long-term strategy. The new role of Chief Digital Officer is responsible for building relationships with existing and new consumers by providing best-in-class digital experiences connected to the Harley-Davidson brand.
"In this role, Krishnan will lead the development of a new digital strategy that will enable the company to deliver the most desirable customer retail experience, whether online or in dealerships, with innovative, direct-to-consumer technology supporting eCommerce and dealer digitization. 

"This includes building seamless and satisfying digital interfaces with products, services, commerce and Harley-Davidson's global dealer network. To enable this strategy, Krishnan will lead the modernization of Harley-Davidson's global information systems that support all business operations.
"The creation of this new role and focus is part of The Rewire, the company's efforts to, among other things, overhaul its operating model and provide a better starting point for the future. The Chief Digital Officer is one of several roles and functions created or elevated to report directly to Chairman, President and CEO Jochen Zeitz to build desirability for the Harley-Davidson brand and products."
Zeitz is quoted as saying that "Harley-Davidson is all about experiences, and an enhanced digital experience is absolutely critical for us to make our GIS [Geographic Information System] and digital capabilities more customer-centric.
"We will take a completely different approach to applying digital technology across the company to fundamentally change how we operate and create value. To deliver on our objectives, we must have an innovative and high-performance IT function.
"We need to be a high-performing team with cutting edge leadership to move us forward. Jagdish is exactly the right leader and he will ensure we connect with our customers at all touch-points."
Krishnan is described as having more than twenty years of experience leading digital transformation and "brings strength in partnering with business stakeholders, leadership and customers to identify needs and deliver solutions to position organizations for advanced growth."
Most recently, he served as Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at Bose Corporation, where he championed the transformation of the business model and the operating model leveraging digital technologies. Prior to Bose, he was with Deloitte & Touche and Patni Computer Systems, where he had a broad mix of experiences including P&L responsibility, information security, enterprise software deployment, programming and IT operations.
Krishnan earned a Bachelor of Science with honors in computer engineering from Pune University and a Master's degree in data communication and distributed systems from Oxford University.
The Rewire is expected to continue through the end of the year, leading to a first look at the company's 2021-2025 strategic plan, The Hardwire, expected in the fourth quarter.