Cesar Gueikian says previous leadership “lost focus of what makes Gibson Gibson — which is making the best guitars ever made”

The company’s CEO and President on how his strategy differs from that of previous leadership.

Cesar Gueikian (with Slash Collection Les Paul Appetite Burst)

Image: Gibson

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Gibson CEO and President Cesar Gueikian has shared his thoughts on how the company’s former leaders had “lost focus” of what’s at the heart of the brand.

In a new interview with Dean Delray, Gueikian discusses on the company’s foray into consumer electronics at one point, calling it an example of “losing focus” of what Gibson does best.

“The prior ownership group had gone into consumer audio; let’s call it consumer electronics and consumer audio,” says the executive [via Ultimate Guitar]. “And that’s what led to my hypothesis of sorts, that maybe there’s an opportunity here because they’re losing focus of what makes Gibson Gibson — which is making the best guitars ever made.”

“And maybe that’s going to lead to mistakes being made, that can lead to us taking over the company. That was my hypothesis originally, and that’s how this came to be.”

And while death had nearly come knocking on Gibson’s door, Gueikian argues that the company already possesses the “playbook” for success – they only have to look to their past to find it.

“In addition to the ups and downs, and the different strategies that maybe owners have pursued over time, you can always go back to what we call our golden era — which is really our second golden era — which was from 1948 to 1960s, under the leadership of Ted McCarty,” he says.

“And so when you start looking at that playbook — I don’t have to reinvent it. [There’s been] ups and downs since then, with different ownership groups, but ultimately, that is a great playbook for what we need to be doing going forward.”

He continues: “And now, we have an extra level of complexity. What happened during that golden era really defined us. But at the same time, we need to think about, ‘How do we take innovation going forward?’ And that’s why we have the Gibson lab.”

“Like, what are we going to pay tribute to the golden era, while, at the same time, be stewards of our future so that — and this is something I find is critical — the best years are ahead of us, not behind us.”

Check out the full interview below.

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