Amidst recent rumors, Ducati has officially announced that its CEO of North American operations, Michael Lock, will step down at the end of July to pursue other opportunities.

Since Lock took the reins in North America in late 2003, Ducati has bridged the gap from something of a novelty brand to what is perhaps the most feared and admired European motorcycle brand. Ducati owners may still crave an exclusive, somewhat eccentric image, but the brand has become very mainstream in the U.S. and Canada, competing at the top of several segments and boasting a robust dealer network. With waiting lists for new models and a full apparel collection to further pad the bottom line, we don't see the momentum slowing much in years to come. In the interim, Ducati N.A. will be run by VP of Sales for Ducati Holdings, Christiano Silei. As far as a long-term plan, expect to see a new CEO appointed soon.

And what of Michael Lock? Why would the successful executive leave when he's at the top of his game? Well, we suspect "other opportunities" to involve plenty of cash and a new challenge for the former Ducati captain. Who knows, maybe Triumph hired him back? Hit the break to view the official press release.

[Source: Ducati]
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MANAGEMENT CHANGE AT DUCATI NORTH AMERICA

Cupertino, Calif. (16 July 2010) – Ducati Motor Holding announces today that Michael Lock, CEO of Ducati North America, is leaving the company at the end of July.

Michael joined Ducati in 2002 in the UK, and in early 2003 moved to the USA to head up the management team at Ducati North America's headquarters in Cupertino, CA. Over the next seven years Lock's team made many changes to Ducati's organization, distribution, marketing and service operations.

Lock's hard work culminated in Ducati achieving its highest ever US market share in 2009, increasing Canadian sales four-fold between 2003-2009, and taking over responsibility for the brand in Mexico earlier this year. As well as setting sales records, Lock transformed DNA's communication strategies and delivered numerous highlights including the Monster Challenges, high profile retail promotions with brands such as Oakley and Puma, and the successful conquering of Pikes Peak with the Multistrada 1200 just this past June.

"I have experienced and participated in an amazing journey at Ducati. In a few short years we have been able to transform our brand into the most feared and admired European motorcycle by competitors and enthusiasts alike. It has been a privilege to be involved and I look forward to watching the brand soar to new heights over the coming years." Said Lock from his office Cupertino, CA.

"Michael has been the driving force behind the great success Ducati has enjoyed in North America this past seven years. His ambition, passion and his unwavering determination has established our beloved brand as the object of desire for any motorcyclist. He has nurtured the brand, developed the dealer network and put together an outstanding team in the US, Canada and Mexico alike." Said Cristiano Silei; Vice President Sales at Ducati Motor Holding in Bologna, Italy.

While Lock moves on to pursue other opportunities, Ducati North America is looking to finish a challenging year strongly. The much-admired Multistrada 1200 has been winning awards, while the recent arrival of the Monster 796 to dealer showrooms has spurred sales even further.

Cristiano Silei will assume the position of CEO of DNA for the interim while retaining his current position as Vice President of Sales at Ducati Motor Holding.

"North America is the most important international market for Ducati and the one I personally know the best. I am excited to be supporting DNA's Senior Managers to set and implement policy for the new season. Our goals are to support our dealer network and keep improving our market share thanks to an ever expanding product line-up, innovative branding and sound commercial policies".