Gibson Guitars out of bankruptcy

Gibson Brands, known mostly for its guitars, announced new executives who they hope will guide the company through a monumental transition as it emerges from bankruptcy protection. The company’s newly named president and CEO is James “JC” Curleigh, who is moving from his role as president of Levi Strauss & Co. to take the position.

To round out the new leadership team it will be Cesar Gueikian as new chief merchsnt officer, chief financial officer will be Kim Mattoon and its chief production officer will be Christian Schmitz.

Earlier this month a bankruptcy court in Delaware approved Gibson’s reorganization plan to get itself out of bankruptcy and keep itself in business.

On the team’s first day on the job November 1st, the investment firm of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) will assume majority ownership control of Gibson.

Under the reorganization plan, the company will continue to manufacture its namesake Gibson and Epiphone guitars, as well as maintain its professional audio business that makes studio monitors and loudspeakers under the names KRK and Cerwin Vega. It will be dropping its efforts to push into the home entertainment and headphone areas, areas the company hoped would make up for the decline in instrument sales, but which accounted for much of its debt.

In filings earlier this year, Gibson estimated that it was up to $500 million in debt.