Gibson CEO Steps Down, Cesar Gueikian Appointed as President and Interim CEO

In a newly published press release, Gibson Brands Inc. have revealed a major change in leadership. The board of directors has appointed Cesar Gueikian, also known as Gibson’s Brand President, as the company’s president and the interim Chief Executive Officer. The decision, which is “effective immediately,” also comes with the previous CEO, James “JC” Curleigh stepping down.

Curleigh has been in the position since 2018 when he replaced Henry Juszkiewicz. Gueikian joined in 2018 as well and was then appointed to the position of Chief Merchant Officer and was then promoted to Brand President in 2021. Nat Zilkha, chairman of Gibson’s Board of Directors, commented:

“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. 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.”

Nat added:

“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. 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.”

Gueikian said:

“I am honored to take on this important role with a company that means so much to me. 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.”

Watch: Gibson CMO Cesar Gueikian demo the 2019 Original SG #SNAMM2019

James “JC” Curleigh also shared a statement, offering:

“It has been a privilege to lead Gibson, and I’m tremendously proud of what we accomplished as a team. 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.”

Gueikian joined Gibson back in 2018 when he was appointed as Chief Merchant Officer. Three years later, in 2021, he was promoted to Brand President. The press release adds more info on the matter:

In those roles, Gueikian has spearheaded pioneering solutions for brand momentum, product innovation, media evolution, and artist relations. He has been instrumental in the resurgence of Gibson, setting a new strategy centered around instruments, sound, and an expansion into media. He brings 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, investor and financier, and a lifelong passion for music and guitars.

The Collection: Cesar Gueikian President & CEO of Gibson Brands

As for James “JC” Curleigh, he also joined back in 2018 when he replaced the company’s previous CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz. This was a historical change for Gibson as they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back on Mat 1 that year. The company then shared this statement:

“Gibson will emerge from Chapter 11 with working capital financing, materially less debt, and a leaner and stronger musical instruments-focused platform that will allow the Company and all of its employees, vendors, customers, and other critical stakeholders to succeed.”

Henry announced his departure from the company although it was also revealed at the time that he’d still be in charge for the transition period. He said:

“Over the past 12 months, we have made substantial strides through an operational restructuring. We have sold non-core brands, increased earnings, and reduced working capital demands. The decision to re-focus on our core business, Musical Instruments, combined with the significant support from our noteholders, we believe will assure the company’s long-term stability and financial health. Importantly, this process will be virtually invisible to customers, all of whom can continue to rely on Gibson to provide unparalleled products and customer service.”

Playing ALL THE Gibson Guitars

Some of Gibson’s famous artists also addressed the situation. Almost a year later, Slash was asked to weigh in on the matter to which he replied:

“I think I was always aware of certain changes. Not so much in Gibson proper – it was just that there were all these new divisions being added; amendments to the company that were unnecessary, stuff that I didn’t really see the vision for. But I was, like, ‘Eh, whatever!’ because it wasn’t affecting what I do.”

“But when I started to do more signature models with Gibson, I started to become more aware of the experimental stuff they were doing with the electronic stuff, which was becoming a big part of the fabric of the brand. And I was like, ‘I just don’t get it! I don’t need it, so I don’t know why anybody else is going to need it!'”

“Then there was a lot of turnover happening in the last couple of years with some of the really key people who’d been at Gibson forever, and that’s when it started to get a little weird. And then the inevitable happened.”

The Collection: Slash

“I’ve been very close to the company for the last 10 years, but very close to the people who work there – not necessarily Henry [Juszkiewicz] while he was running it, but everybody else.”

“So when all of this started coming down, I was very aware that it was happening, and as soon as it was done, I met with the new CEO and we sat down for a couple of hours to talk about what’s going on.”

“It’s funny, I’ve started noticing in their marketing that something has changed – I could see that something was different.”

“The guy that’s running Gibson now, I really, really like. He’s got great ideas, and he’s a guitar nerd, but he’s also a very smart businessman. He has a good vision or the company that’s more in line with what myself and other Gibson loyalists will appreciate.”

Pic: Gibson


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.