Harley-Davidson CEO Earns $6.4 Million

Harley News

In his first full year on the job, Harley-Davidson CEO Keith Wandell was compensated $6.4 million in 2010, according to a new regulatory filing filed by the Milwaukee motorcycle company on Friday.

The Motor Company filing says Wandell earned a salary of $975,037 in 2010. He also got a cash bonus of more than $2.3 million, and stock and option awards valued at about $3 million.

To compare, Wandell’s 2009 salary, after joining Harley in May of that year, was $650,025. In 2009, after eight months with Harley, Wandell received a cash bonus of $780,030, and $4.9 million in stock and option awards.

As for the company itself, Harley-Davidson’s net income was $146.5 million; sales were reported at $418 billion in 2010, a decline from $4.29 in 2009.

These are some big numbers for the CEO of Harley, and will likely cause some controversy in the motorcycle industry, considering the state of the economy.

Harley enthusiasts still question the company’s overall decision regarding the selection of Wandell, considering the major decision maker’s lack of experience in the industry.

Harley’s former CEO, Jim Ziemer, spent 40 years working with the company before taking the position he held for four years; before Wandell landed the position, he was the chief operating officer at Johnson Controls Inc., a company he worked at for 21 years that manufactures car battery and builds ventilation systems.

And if that isn’t enough to create haggling within the industry, it should be noted that Wandell reportedly didn’t own a motorcycle when he took over as CEO of one of the industry’s largest brands…but he did ride a bit when he was younger.