By Rich Kirchen – Senior Reporter, Milwaukee Business Journal
Harley-Davidson Inc. paid former high-profile executive Michelle Kumbier a settlement of $660,000 after she threatened litigation connected to unspecified events related to her departure in April, the company said in a regulatory filing.
Kumbier, who had been a Harley-Davidson employee since 1997, and the company “have disputes over events that allegedly occurred relative to her resignation from the company,” the Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer said in an exhibit included in its 10-Q quarterly financial report filed Nov. 5 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Harley-Davidson said it “has denied and continues to deny Kumbier’s allegations” and also denies that it has any liability to Kumbier on any of her “disputed claims.” She was senior vice president and chief operating officer of Harley-Davidson Motor Co. at the time of her resignation.
The company was to make a lump-sum payment to Kumbier after she signed the settlement agreement that was dated Aug. 14.
Kumbier acknowledged the settlement amount is more than she would otherwise be entitled to under the company’s normal policies and procedures, according to the document. Kumbier released the company, its executives and its board “from all claims, charges, demands, and liabilities of any kind,” the document states.
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She also signed a noncompete clause that prohibits her from working for or consulting with a list of Harley competitors or potential competitors.
Kumbier had been chief operating officer since October 2017 and oversaw the Milwaukee-based manufacturer’s U.S. and international markets in addition to responsibilities leading product and operations.
In filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG) did not disclose a reason for her departure.
The company did not respond Nov. 6 to a Milwaukee Business Journal request for comment on the settlement.
Prior to adding chief operating officer to her responsibilities, Kumbier was senior vice president, Harley-Davidson Motor Company product and operations. Kumbier joined Harley-Davidson in 1997 in operations purchasing, followed by roles with increasing responsibility in purchasing, strategic planning, new business development, and parts and accessories.
Kumbier was appointed in October to the board of directors for Teledyne Technologies (NYSE: TDY) of Thousand Oaks, California. She also serves on the board of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) of Abbott Park, Illinois.