Gibson names JC Curleigh as new CEO

James “JC” Curleigh, new Gibson CEO and President

Gibson Brands Inc announced today the naming of a new senior management team, including James “JC” Curleigh as the new CEO and President, stepping into the role played for many years by Henry Juszkiewicz. Critics of the company had blamed Juszkiewicz for exacerbating issues with federal regulators, and injecting politics into company business to the detriment of Gibson.

Also named today were Cesar Gueikian as Chief Merchant Officer, Kim Mattoon as Chief Financial Officer, Christian Schmitz as Chief Production Officer, and Nat Zilkha as Chairman of the Board, representing the majority ownership group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR). These appointments will be effective on November 1, 2018.

These changes are a part of the restructuring agreement that Gibson signed during recent bankruptcy proceedings, which declared that new leadership and management would take over for Juszkiewicz and his team, who had run the company since the mid-1980s.

Curleigh comes to Gibson from Levi Strauss & Co, where he had served as President of Levis Products. He is a life long guitarist, who says that he sees great things for the company moving forward.

“As a musician, I have always treasured my Gibson guitars and I have the utmost respect for the iconic Gibson brand and those who choose to play Gibson  guitars. Gibson has been a pioneer of craftsmanship and innovation in musical instruments and has been synonymous with shaping the sounds of generations and genres for more than 100 years. I am very honored to play a leading role with this iconic brand.

As a business leader and a brand builder, this is the beginning of a new era for Gibson that will build on its proven heritage and iconic status. We are focusing on the future and off to a fresh start, with a strong financial foundation, a committed and experienced new leadership team and new ownership that is equally passionate about the brand. As the industry leader, we have an opportunity and an obligation to set the best conditions for success for our brands, our fans, our partners and our own extended team. I look forward to leading Gibson confidently into the future.”

No word yet what this will mean for Gibson mandolins and acoustic guitars, or their iconic banjo line which has been out of production since flooding destroyed their manufacturing facility in 2010. Gibson also controls the Dobro brand and builds those guitars in Nashville.

We will endeavor to learn more as the new team takes over next month.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.