Bob Lowry


AUBURN -- Richard Teerlink, retired chairman and CEO of Harley- Davidson, Inc., and his consultant partner Lee Ozley, will speak to Auburn University business students on Oct. 30 and Nov. 2.

The two will also make a presentation on Oct. 31 at AU's Center for the Arts and Humanities at Pebble Hill and sign their new critically acclaimed book, More Than a Motorcycle: The Leadership Journey at Harley-Davidson.

Teerlink, who was credited with guiding the motorcycle-maker back from the brink of bankruptcy in the mid-1980s, will speak to six business classes and participate in a roundtable discussion with doctoral students during his four-day stay in Auburn.

Ozley, a consultant to Milwaukee, Wis.-based Harley-Davidson, will also speak to six classes and participate in the meeting with Ph.D students.

Ozley and Teerlink will also meet with John Jahera, interim dean of the College of Business, during their visit.

Harley-Davidson has been the only U.S. manufacturer of motorcycles since its last domestic competitor folded in 1953. Harley-Davidson nearly went under itself in the mid-1980s while trying to compete with Japanese , but its comeback is one of the greatest success stories of modern U.S. business.

Teerlink was chief financial officer for the company in 1985 when its chief lender decided to cut off the company's line of credit. By the time Teerlink had secured replacement financing, Harley-Davidson was only seven days away from being forced into bankruptcy. In 1986, Teerlink took the company public, and its profits have been on the upswing since.

The book, More Than a Motorcycle: The Leadership Journey at Harley- Davidson, is the inside story of how the company re-invented itself. It has been described as part corporate biography and part memoir of Teerlink and Ozley.

The book was published in August by Harvard Business School Press.

Since his retirement, Teerlink has been speaking internationally to corporations, industry groups and educational institutions. Ozley is an organizational consultant and coach, whose clients have included such corporate luminaries as Cummins Engine Co., National Steel, Air Canada and Lockheed Martin

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CONTACT: Achilles Armenakis, 334/844-6506.