We all know about the troubles that have beset iconic guitar brand Gibson over the course of 2018. They filed for Chapter 11 in May which protected the company from going into bankruptcy. This was to allow for restructuring and the sale of the non profitable parts of the business, which they had diversified into over previous years.
Gibson are due to emerge from Chapter 11 on 1st November and in preparation for this the company have announced the appointment of a new team that will, hopefully steer the brand back to where they should be. It should be noted though that the guitar division of Gibson has always been profitable. It was the diversification away from the core product which instigated the downturn in Gibson’s fortunes.
The new president and chief executive officer will be James “JC” Curleigh who was previously president of Levi jeans. JC is a guitar enthusiast who owns both Gibson and Epiphone instruments. He will be joined by Cesar Gueikian as chief merchant officer, Kim Mattoon as chief financial officer and Christian Schmitz as chief production officer.
Cesar Gueikian is a member of several rock bands and has a collection of more than 30 Gibson instruments.
The four new members of the team were announced by Nat Zilkha who is head of alternative credit at KKR and who will serve as Gibson’s chairman. KKR is a private equity company and will hold a controlling share in Gibson once it emerges from Chapter 11.
Nat Zilkha also has a musical background which includes several years as lead guitarist with Red Rooster. He recorded three albums with the band and also played the Newport Folk Festival.
Gibson guitars have always been fantastic and the people that make them are some of the finest craftsmen and women on the planet. It was the management of the company that was dragging it down plus of course some very unwise business acquisitions along the way. Now that the dead weight has been shed it looks like Gibson are all set to get back to doing what they do best, build great guitars.
For more discussion about Gibson why not visit our long running Gibson thread on the forum? We would love to see you there!