Posted on May. 22. 2023
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gibson has announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Cesar Gueikian, formerly the company’s Brand President, as its new President and Interim CEO.
The leadership change, effective immediately, marks the end of James “JC” Curleigh’s four-and-a-half year tenure as the guitar giant’s CEO. Gibson confirmed that Curleigh will also be stepping down as a director, and leaving the company entirely.
“I am honored to take on this important role with a company that means so much to me,” Gueikian said in a statement. “Gibson has shaped sound for the last 130 years, and we now have the opportunity to drive the future of music and touch people’s lives for the next 130 years.
“We have an obligation to continue innovating across instruments, sound and media and to continue inspiring fans and artists of all levels to create music. I look forward to working closely with our experienced senior leadership and team of incredible craftspeople to ensure the long-term success of the business.”
Gueikian first joined the company in October 2018 as its Chief Merchant Officer. He – along with Curleigh and Gibson’s Director of Brand Experience, Mark Agnesi – was part of a new leadership team at the company that emerged following the toppling of its long-tenured former CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz.
Juszkiewicz’s reign was controversial, and its later period saw the introduction of new product features – such as robo-tuners and brass nuts – that proved polarizing, and ultimately culminated in the company’s 2018 bankruptcy.
Rising to the new role of Brand President in 2021, Gueikian emerged as one of the public faces of the newly-revitalized Gibson, which simplified its product line-up, and lured to its ranks an undeniably impressive parade of new, high-profile endorsers, among them Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell and Dave Mustaine.
“We are transitioning to new leadership at a time of strength to ensure the company continues its momentum and is well-positioned to execute on its next phase of growth,” said Nat Zilkha, chairman of Gibson’s Board of Directors, in a statement.
“Cesar has played a huge role in the company’s recent success, including securing critical artist partnerships and overseeing the evolution of many of our most iconic product lines, and the Board has full confidence in his leadership.”
“On behalf of the Board, I want to thank JC for helping to return Gibson to its status as an iconic brand over the last five years,” Zilkha continued. “We are grateful for his leadership and contributions to our partners, customers and the music industry, and we wish him the best in his next chapter.”
“It has been a privilege to lead Gibson, and I’m tremendously proud of what we accomplished as a team,” added Curleigh in a statement of his own. “I am ready for my next challenge and want to thank the Board and the Gibson team for the opportunity to guide this company. I look forward to seeing all they will accomplish in the future.”