Banman is stepping down from operational management of Zero Motorcycles but will remain on the company’s board. Banman has been with the electric motorcycle maker almost from the beginning, joining Zero in 2007 as chief operating officer as the company’s ninth employee. Within 60 days, Banman was appointed CEO and played an instrumental role in finding investors.
Under Banman’s leadership, Zero has raised tens of millions in funding and attracted a strong core of executives including AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Scot Harden and former Buell engineering director Abe Askenazi. Current Zero COO Karl Wharton will assume control of day-to-day operations.
“It’s been a tremendous experience, getting Zero Motorcycles to this point,” says Banman. “I feel proud of the enormous progress we have made and of the excellent management team we have put in place that will take the company to the next level. I plan to get some R&R and travel, and then do some part time work with non-profits. I look forward to continuing to work with the company as a board member.”
Banman’s retirement follows the departure of the company’s founder Neal Saiki in March.
”My colleagues and I knew Gene well before Invus became an investor in Zero Motorcycles,” said Aflalo Guimaraes, a Zero board member and managing director of its chief investor, The Invus Group, LLC. “Gene, together with Neal Saiki, were instrumental in convincing us to back the company at the time when it was just a startup with a vision to transform the motorcycle industry. Gene’s leadership and the team he brought together have established Zero as the leading manufacturer and brand of electric motorcycles and put it on course to realize the vision of making electric motorcycles a mainstream segment of the industry by both appealing to experienced riders and bringing new customers into the camaraderie of riders. We are thankful for everything Gene has done for Zero to date and are glad that our association with Gene continues with his ongoing active participation on the board of the company.”