Gibson Announces a Major Leadership Change as CEO James ‘JC’ Curleigh Exits

Gibson CEO change
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Gibson CEO change
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Photo Credit: Glenn Francis / CC by 4.0

Following the exit of CEO James “JC” Curleigh, Gibson Brands announces a significant leadership transition, appointing Cesar Gueikian, the company’s brand president, as president and interim chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Gibson Brands, the most recognizable guitar brand in the world, has announced that its Board of Directors has appointed the company’s brand president Cesar Gueikian as president and interim CEO. Gueikian is succeeding James “JC” Curleigh, Gibson’s president and CEO since November 2018.

Gueikian joined Gibson in 2018 as the company’s chief merchant officer and was appointed brand president in 2021. In those roles, he has been integral to the resurgence of Gibson, setting a new company strategy surrounding instruments, sound, and expansion into media. With a lifelong passion for music and guitars, Gueikian brings 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, financier, and investor.

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

Before joining Gibson, Gueikian co-founded Melody Capital Partners, an alternative asset manager focused on private corporate financing, investing, and restructuring. Under his leadership, Melody grew from a seed investment of $100 million to more than $1.5 billion in assets under management.

“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,” adds Nat Zilkha, chairman of Gibson’s Board of Directors. “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 continues. “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,” said Curleigh. “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.”