Gibson Boss Says Sales Are Growing ‘Much Faster’ Than Industry
Outgoing Gibson Brands Inc. CEO Henry Juszkiewicz spoke out against rumors that the guitar company had been struggling with quality issues. He also said their sales were increasing faster than the industry’s general trend.
The company – whose guitars are played by Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash, among many others – filed for bankruptcy earlier this year amid a debt mountain estimated at $500 million. The “change of control” deal involves Juszkiewicz’s departure as CEO in return for enough capital for a new company to remain in operation, but he retains a two-year consultancy role with the new organisation. His replacement has yet to be announced.
Juszkiewicz discussed online accusations of poor manufacturing quality in a new interview with Guitarist magazine. “To quote some politicians, I would say that’s ‘fake news,’" he said. "It’s easy for people to troll on the internet, but you’re in the media and I think you’re probably more aware than most folks about the negativity that exists and, sometimes, the lack of truth in that negativity.”
He argued that Gibson’s current build quality is “better than it’s ever been,” even though, he added, “which is not to say that we’re perfect.” “The second thing I would say is our sales are increasing," he noted. "We are growing much faster than the industry is growing, and so that would be a good indicator that there are maybe a few satisfied people. So if we really made junk, then people wouldn’t buy it, especially at the price that we charge.”
Juszkiewicz previously reported that in the fiscal year that ended in January 2018, Gibson’s guitar business had grown 10.5 percent to $122 million. In the new interview, he said that only 7 percent of calls received by the company's customer services department were in relation to problems with guitars.