Gibson Set to Emerge From Bankruptcy
Nearly six months after filing for bankruptcy, Gibson Brands Inc., is ready to come out of the proceedings. They have a new majority ownership and leadership team that will officially take over on Nov. 1.
According to a press release on their website, KKR, a global investment company, will become the majority owner of Gibson, and they'll install James "JC" Curleigh as president and chief executive officer, with Cesar Gueikian (chief merchant officer), Kim Mattoon (chief financial officer), Christian Schmitz (chief production officer) and Nat Zilkha (chairman of the Board of Directors) also comprising the senior leadership team.
“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,” Curleigh said. “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.”
“Joining Gibson is the opportunity of a lifetime for me,” Gueikian added. “As a business person, a musician and lifelong fan of the craftsmanship and quality of Gibson guitars, I am thrilled to help shape the future of a company whose instruments have influenced my life and the sound of music globally. I am committed to collaborating closely with all of Gibson’s stakeholders, including our artists, dealers, our employees and our customers to expand on Gibson’s leadership. I share their passion for Gibson’s iconic instruments and I am confident that together we will create a successful future that is worthy of the company’s incredible heritage.”
The news ends a saga that was first made public in February, when it was learned that Gibson was $375 million in debt, with another $145 million to be triggered in July if it was not paid in full. It was widely believed that decisions made by Henry Juszkiewicz, who had been running the company since 1986, to branch out into consumer electronics largely contributed to the company's financial problems.
Pollstar notes that Juszkiewicz will remain under contract for one year to assist in the transition. His name was not mentioned in the press release.