Gibson Picks a New CEO to Steer It Out of the Blues

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by warrent, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    I've been a Levi's guy since junior high school (outside of a brief flirtation with Wranglers in 1988). I agree that Levi's are not consistent any more...just like guitars have never been 100% consistent--ever.

    I still wear Levi's, in spite of their inconsistencies. Therefore, on new blue jean day (usually when there's a good sale at JC Penney's or Kohl's) I will get a stack of Levi's in my size, preferred finish and style number (usually 505's) and spend some time in the dressing room to find the ones that fit my butt to my liking.

    Kinda like when I'm trying find a good guitar---I have to play a few of them (sometimes more than a few of them!) to find the One that speaks to me.

    Certain items are going to have variances within spec. Sometimes the extremes of those variances are more noticeable than others. That's why there's good and bad guitars within the same model...and just as my jeans might not fit the next guy who wears the same size, my guitars may not "fit" the next player, either.

    I don't own any Gibsons right now (although I have a Epiphone '57-reissue Les Paul Junior I'm quickly becoming fond of), but I really want the company to succeed. They've made some great, iconic instruments over the years and the musical instrument landscape would be more drab without them...

    ...plus, I want somebody to turn the company around to make Henry J. look that much more foolish and inept, if nothing else for the monstrosity he thrust upon us in the form of the Fireturd X.
     
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  2. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    Eastman's operation (the video is getting a little old, but you can tell there's a lot of hand work in their guitars, because they're not "machine perfect". a quality i quite like). I have not worked in an american factory that was as nice to work in as this.



    fender ensada:


    (you wouldn't want to see the tile factory that I worked in)
     
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  3. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, but then look at where the guy is from.

    Don't get your hopes up too high.
     
  4. RL52

    RL52 Tele-Meister

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    upload_2018-10-23_19-27-42.jpeg
     
  5. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    The clock has started! The rule is the first 90 days sets the tone and the success or failure of the new top employee. Go! Go! Go!

    So by January we'll have a good idea of what they are going to be, or not to be.


    As for the pricing vs build location vs brand ... I will not be surprised if they chase the volume at lower prices with the Gibson brand "because look at all the money!", but what that does is cheapen the brand value long term. The reason the SG sells so well compared to the LP is it's half the price. The gateway guitar. Like the Incredibles movie villain said, if everyone is super then no one is super.

    the usual path they will follow:
    -Reduce the number of SKUs
    -Bid out contracts to new suppliers forcing the old suppliers to match costs or get lost.
    -Cut the workforce by 20% (how they do that is often an interesting study, one time big or four times small / whole departments or equal percent pain for every department).

    Bankruptcy allows many new opportunities ... like breaking dealer/retailer arrangements/"contracts". Wouldn't it be nifty if you could buy that famous Les Paul direct from Gibson instead of the distributor-retailer network and for your troubles you'd get the $3,500 guitar for $2,000 and at that Gibson makes $500 more per unit than they do today; win-win for the player and the factory. They sink that money back in to out PRS the PRS. They also learn the very important data of guitar preferences from the end customer not a sub-set of retailers and distributors that are trying to translate what they think customers want to the factory. Gibson would know what the customers want.
    They will be too fearful of cutting passed the retailers and will chicken out of that fight even if it means long term profitability and control.

    The other companies need to radically boost their advertising as Gibson is going to be so internally focused they will be at a major disadvantage.

    90 days and we'll know.

    .
     
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  6. Andy B

    Andy B Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I wonder how much that look cost the shareholders.
     
  7. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was hoping for Jimmy Buffet.
     
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  8. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    He looks like he has a strong neck.
     
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  9. GGardner

    GGardner Tele-Afflicted

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    This may sound naive, but I was hoping the new CEO would be some schlub who has been drooling over Gibsons since he was 8 years old, not another MBA focused on the profit margin and being praised for thinking outside the box. Meet new new boss. Same as the old boss.
     
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  10. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    Harvard MBA......I've worked for a few.....the business will be optimized for the investors at the expense of the customer experience. He is not a guitar visionary so he really needs to hire one or else it will be, once again, purely an accounting exercise at extracting optimal margin for minimum investment. This versus a passionate guitar type who will not sacrifice the customer experience and will see when saving a buck is not always the wisest choice. Hope he is at least a people person.
     
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  11. CV Jee Beez

    CV Jee Beez Tele-Holic

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  12. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Note also that he recently bought a guitar. A Gibson in fact. From the 60s.

    Not a shiny brand new one.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
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  13. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    That's who buys them, top executives in venture capital or hedge fund companies. Oh, and Joe Bonamassa....
     
  14. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Holic

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    Tough crowd. I'm as cynical about Harvard MBAs as anyone, but his experience growing legacy products/brands would seem to be a good fit for Gibson. Yes the TED talk was annoying and about 80% self aggrandizement but thats true for almost all TED talks.

    In my experience the branding/marketing folks are fairly distinct from the strip-it-down-for-the-parts investment bankers. I'd be a lot more concerned about Gibson if they hired some Goldman Sachs quant with a guitar jones. Instead they hired a guy who allegedly has success building on premium brand products, and apparently likes guitars. At least on paper that seems like a pretty sound hiring.

    The notion that Gibson should hire some guitar savant to save the company is magical unicorn thinking. Just my experience, but it is rare that the genius product innovator is equally adept at building a successful company around the product, let alone shepherding a company out of bankruptcy. Ultimately the best companies need both and I'm hoping that this is a move in the right direction for Gibson. And honestly he can't possibly do worse than his predecessor
     
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  15. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    I just how they also bring in someone with good manufacturing experience who will listen to employees, understand the processes and come up with ways to fix issues.
     
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  16. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Again, what issues? From everything I’ve read the problem was never the guitar business. It was the strain in the enterprise caused be acquisitions of other, unrelated companies.
     
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  17. kidmeatball

    kidmeatball Tele-Meister

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    CEOs work for shareholders, not customers.
     
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  18. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    The emphasis on branding makes me think this is a bad hire. We like to think of Gibson as a guitar company. But good luck to him
     
  19. twangking

    twangking Tele-Afflicted

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    Oh boy, this looks bad.
     
  20. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Manufacturing quality has been an ongoing issue with Gibson for several years. Employee suggestions for improvements were said to be ignored. Skilled, experienced, employees were not valued. Modern manufacturing methods either weren't used or done in name only. Correcting this would not be that difficult now that the distraction of other businesses is gone and, hopefully, there's less ego involved.
     
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