Troubled guitar manufacturer Gibson might be looking to replace their current CEO — at least according to a new job listing.
Current Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz recently stated that he would remain CEO for a while. Then, he would step down as an active advisor or mentor to the new CEO.
Now, a position for CEO a company in the music industry in the Greater Nashville Area has been spotted on ExecThread.com. And reports are linking it back to Gibson.
The job listing asks candidates to have prior experience with a major consumer product company and familiarity with “acquiring and integrating complementary businesses” going forward. That last point is notable, as Gibson’s spread into consumer electronics has prompted some speculation that the 116-year-old company wore itself too thin.
As part the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in May, the guitar maker announced that it would close these consumer electronic divisions and refocus on its core products, namely musical instruments.
However, Juszkiewicz’s reign is looking a little long in the tooth as several recent decisions have put the guitar manufacturer in a hard place. The failing consumer electronics division was just one aspect the company that has been bungled; the company’s attempts to appeal to a broader niche musicians has resulted in the company shooting itself in the foot multiple times.
The 2015 guitar product line featured electric guitars with automatic tuning, wider necks, and design tricks to make it more comfortable for newer guitarists to learn. Sounded good on paper, but this move alienated long-time guitarists who saw the new instruments as an abrupt departure from the company’s legacy.
Juszkiewicz has been roundly blamed by investors for failing to steer the ship towards pritability, with bankruptcy the result ineptitude. Those tough accusations have been borne out in multiple bankruptcy filings, with analysts echoing the criticism and demanding managerial changes.
Perhaps the tougher question is whether this is really Juszkiewicz’s fault, or if the longtime CEO is merely a convenient scapegoat for a company suffering from massive market changes.