Jochen Zeitz

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Jochen Zeitz
Jochen Zeitz HD Photo 2021.jpg
Jochen Zeitz

(1963-04-06) 6 April 1963 (age 59)[1]
OccupationExecutive, philanthropist, board member, writer and filmmaker
Known forCEO of Harley-Davidson
Acting CEO of LiveWire
Former CEO of Puma

Jochen Zeitz (born 6 April 1963) is the president, CEO and chairman of the board of Harley-Davidson.[2] He served as the chairman and CEO of Puma for 18 years. He also served as board member of luxury goods company Kering, and chaired their Sustainability Committee, for whom he developed its global sustainability strategy. Zeitz co-founded (along with Sir Richard Branson) the global non-profit initiative The B Team.[3] He also founded Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) and The Zeitz Foundation, to support sustainable solutions that balance conservation, community, culture and commerce, including sustainable tourism initiative The Long Run.

As of June 2022, Zeitz is a board member of Harley Davidson, The B Team, financial services company Cranemere, and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). Zeitz also previously served on the board of ecotourism company Wilderness Safaris.[4]

Early life[edit]

Zeitz was born in Mannheim, Germany.[1] He studied in Germany, Italy, France, and the United States, and graduated from the European Business School in International Marketing and Finance.


Zeitz began his professional career with Colgate-Palmolive in New York and Hamburg. He joined Puma in 1990, and in 1993 was appointed Chairman and CEO at age 30, becoming the youngest CEO in German history to head a public company on the German stock exchange.[5] He led a worldwide restructuring of PUMA, which was in financial difficulties at the time, and implemented a long-term development plan for the company.[5][6] In 13 years under Zeitz, Puma's share price increased around 4000 percent, from 8.6 Euros in his first year as CEO to an all-time high of 350 Euros.[7][8] In 2007, the majority stake of the company was acquired by Kering. Zeitz turned PUMA from a failing company into one of the top three sporting goods brands in the world. After acquiring PUMA Jochen Zeitz then joined Kering as a board member.

In 2007, Zeitz joined the Board of Directors of Harley-Davidson.[2]

In 2008 Zeitz introduced PUMAVision, an ethical framework defined by the four key principles of being fair, honest, positive and creative as applied to all professional behavior, business procedures and relationships throughout and outside of Puma.[citation needed] In May 2011, Zeitz conceived of the Environmental Profit & Loss Account (E P&L), In May 2011 he announced Puma's Environmental Profit & Loss Account, which puts a monetary value to a businesses use of ecosystem services across the entire supply chain.[9][10] From 2010 to 2012, Zeitz was CEO of the Sport & Lifestyle division and Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) of Kering, then a Director of Kering and Chairman of the Board's sustainable development committee.[citation needed]

In 2011, Zeitz formed Harley-Davidson’s Sustainability Committee.[11]

In June 2013, Zeitz and Sir Richard Branson co-founded The B Team, an initiative to bring together the world’s top business leaders to promote sustainable global business practices.[12]

In 2019, Zeitz was credited with encouraging and influencing Harley-Davidson executives to further explore sustainable products, such as the electric motorcycle LiveWire.[4]

In February 2020, Zeitz was named interim president of Harley Davidson, and was made permanent President and CEO in May 2020.[2] In July, Zeitz announced The Rewire, a streamlining plan designed to increase Harley-Davidson's operational efficiency through process redesign and workforce reductions.[13]

In February 2021, inspired by KKR executive Pete Stavros, Zeitz announced the motorcycle maker would give stock grants to employees, including hourly and factory workers, to align with executives and shareholders.[14] In December, Zeitz announced that its electric motorcycle subsidiary LiveWire would become a separate publicly traded company, with Zeitz serving as LiveWire’s chairman and acting CEO as it searched for a permanent leader.[15]

As of June 2022, Zeitz is also a board member of The B Team, financial services company Cranemere, and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).[4]


Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa[edit]

The Zeitz Collection was founded in 2002. Since 2008 it has committed to becoming one of the most representative collections of contemporary art from the African continent and its diaspora. The Zeitz Collection bought 85 works at the 2013 Venice Biennale, including the award-winning installation at the Angola pavilion by artist Edson Chagas, a series of photographs by Zanele Muholi from the South Africa pavilion, and three large sculptures by Michele Mathison in the Zimbabwe pavilion.[16]

In partnership with the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Zeitz founded the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA), located in the historic grain silo in Cape Town's Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.[17][18][19] The museum features 9,500 square meters (102,000 square feet) of space over nine floors, including 6,000 square meters (65,000 square feet) for displays. In 2014, Thomas Heatherwick was chosen to design the conversion of the 1920s granary into a museum, including 80 galleries, 18 education rooms, a rooftop sculpture garden as well as storage and conservation areas, a restaurant, a coffee shop, and bookstores.[20] The official public opening of the museum took place in September 2017.[21] The opening ceremony was presided over by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.[22] In the first year of opening the Zeitz MOCAA was visited by over 300,000 people and named one of the best museums in the world by the Time Magazine.[23]

Writing and film[edit]

In 2010, Zeitz co-wrote and published Prayer, Profit and Principles – Monk and Manager in dialogue with Anselm Grün, a Benedictine monk.[24] The book has been translated into 15 languages and covers topics such as sustainability, the economy and prosperity, culture, values, success and responsibility.

In 2014 Zeitz co-wrote and published The Breakthrough Challenge: 10 Ways to Connect Today's Profits with Tomorrow's Bottom Line with John Elkington.[25]

In 2021, Zeitz produced Breaking Boundaries, a documentary narrated by Sir David Attenborough, breaks down the climate thresholds needed for the survival of the planet and humanity.[26]

Honours and awards[edit]

Zeitz has received the "Strategist of the Year" three times from the Financial Times,[27] "Entrepreneur of the Year",[28] “Trendsetter of the Year” and “Best of European Business Award 2006″.[29] In 2004, he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit of Germany.[30] In 2009, he was named Honorary Warden of Kenya by the Kenya Wildlife Service.[31] In 2010, the German Sustainability Foundation gave Zeitz an award for Germany's most sustainable future strategies.[32] He was named a Conde Nast Traveler “Visionaries 2012”[33] and one of Fast Company’s “10 Most Important Players at the Rio +20 Conference”.[34] He received the 2012 German Image Award,[35] the 2013 Banksia International Award[36] and the Visionary Award for the 2013 Travel + Leisure Global Vision Award.[37] In 2015 he was awarded the Special Advocacy Award for Responsible Capitalism.>[38] The award ceremony was held at Lancaster House in London, and presented by Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. In the same year, he was ranked #18 of "The World's Top 100 Compassionate Business Leaders" by Salt Magazine and awarded for his advocacy of Responsible Capitalism by FIRST Magazine. In 2016, the Zoological Society of London honoured Zeitz as a ZSL Conservation Fellow. In 2017, Zeitz was named #26 in OOOM's "The World's Most Inspiring People" list. In 2019, Conde Nast Traveler named Zeitz as one of “The 44 People Changing the Way We Travel”.[39]


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  25. ^ John Elkington; Jochen Zeitz; Sir Richard Branson (4 August 2014). The Breakthrough Challenge: 10 Ways to Connect Today's Profits with Tomorrow's Bottom Line. ISBN 9781118539699.
  26. ^ "Humanity Is Breaking All Boundaries – This New Netflix Film Will Shock You". Plant Based News. 26 May 2021. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
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