Mark-Hans Richer has parted from Harley-Davidson, leaving the post of senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Harley-Davidson released a statement announcing the executive’s departure, saying:
“In his time with Harley-Davidson, Mark-Hans was instrumental in achieving our transformational goals, including expanding our reach to both core and outreach customers, and we thank him for his contributions. The changes are an important piece of the company’s recently announced plan to build on its leadership position in the market and grow demand, with a key objective to lead in every market.”
Richer had been with Harley-Davidson since 2007 after holding several marketing and advertising positions with General Motors. In addition to handling Harley-Davidson’s marketing, Richer was responsible for product planning, sustainability, retail experience and operations such as service, systems and logistics. Richer was also responsible for Harley-Davidson’s e-commerce, the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) and the Harley-Davidson Museum.
The timing of Richer’s departure is unusual, coming just over two weeks after Harley-Davidson announced plans to lay off about 250 workers to fund a 65% increase in its marketing budget.
How the larger budget will be spent will no longer be in Richer’s hands. The responsibility will now belong to Sean Cummings (pictured right, above), who was named senior vice president of global demand and will be in charge of marketing, retail excellence and sales operations. Cummings was previously vice president and managing director for Harley-Davidson’s Latin America region.
On Cummings’ company bio page, Harley-Davidson touts his experience with international markets, noting he has lived and worked in eight different countries including in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. During Harley-Davidsons third-quarter report, the company stressed international growth as a main objective, with a goal of adding 150-200 new dealerships internationally by 2020. Cummings will likely play an important role in reaching that target.