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NEWS – KTM Reorganizes North American Operation Following Death of Rod Bush

November 28, 2005
Filed under Features

Rod Bush, president of KTM North America, passed away Sept. 12 following a brief battle with cancer.
A former racer as well as industry executive, Bush, 50, earned six ISDE medals along with countless enduro and cross-country victories in the 1970’s and early 80’s.
He began his motorcycle business career in 1971 as a Penton motorcycle dealer. In 1978 he joined forces with KTM America as a service technician, a move that brought him to president of KTM America in 1988. He then helped lead the company through a worldwide corporate restructuring, continuing as president of KTM North America and becoming managing director for the KTM Group parent company and the KTM factory in Austria.
Several major changes to corporate management structure took place following Bush’s passing. Jon-Erik Burleson, formerly vice president of finance for KTM North America, Inc. assumed the role of president. Burleson is responsible for all day-to-day U.S. and Canadian operations including sales, marketing, parts/accessory distribution, administration and finance. Burleson continues to serve on the KTM North America, Inc. board of directors, a position he has held since 2003.
Winfried Kerschhaggl joined KTM North America, Inc. as a board member as well as vice president. Kershhaggl has been a member of the KTM Sportmotorcycle AG Austria executive management team since 1999, serving most recently as worldwide marketing director. He recently assumed a new role for KTM Austria as strategic product planner responsible for future development of the KTM model line.
John Zolikoff, KTM North America, Inc. new business development director, has joined the board of directors of KTM North America, Inc. In addition to managing new business opportunities for KTM North America, Zolikoff will focus on further developing the strategic partnership between KTM North America and Polaris.
Also joining the KTM North America, Inc. board of directors is Patrick Pruegger. Pruegger is a member of the KTM Sportmotorcycle AG board of directors.
Stefan Pierer, CEO of KTM Powersports AG, remains an active member of the Board for Directors for KTM North America, Inc.
Jakob Branner has been named vice president of KTM North America, Inc. Branner, an integral part of the KTM North America team since 2000 with responsibility in both finance and sales planning, now is responsible for coordinating KTM production planning with U.S. and Canadian model year sales plans and dealer order deliveries.
These new corporate officers join the existing KTM North America, Inc. executive management team consisting of Scot Harden, V.P. of Media Relations, Selvaraj Narayana V.P. of Amateur Racing and Event Promotion, Michael Turner V.P. of Corporate Training, Mario LaJoie, V.P./General Manager of KTM Canada and Tom Muzilla, Secretary of KTM North America, Inc.

– Guido Ebert

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