Gibson's new leadership team--(l-r) James "JC" Curleigh, Cesar Gueikian, and Kim Mattoon. (Not shown: Christian Schmitz.)

GIBSON BRANDS INC. has appointed James "JC" Curleigh as president and chief executive officer. Curleigh joins Gibson from Levi Strauss & Co., where he served as president of the Levi's brand and was a member of its worldwide leadership team. Gibson also announced the appointments of Cesar Gueikian as CMO (chief merchant officer), Kim Mattoon as CFO (chief financial officer), and Christian Schmitz as CPO (chief production officer). The appointments are effective November 1, 2018.

   As the president of the Levi's brand, Curleigh guided strategic shifts, leadership team evolution, and market execution for all brands within the Levi Strauss & Co. portfolio, including Levi's, Dockers, Signature by Levi's Strauss, and DENIZEN by Levi's. Over the years, he has built a reputation as a brand-building expert and has crafted uniquely tailored solutions for a variety of other well-known consumer goods companies, including as president and CEO of KEEN Footwear and Salomon Sports NA.

   A guitar enthusiast who has been a proud owner of both Gibson and Epiphone guitars over the years (including his latest addition, a 1960's Gibson J-45 acoustic), Curleigh holds a bachelor's degree in commerce from St. Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and has furthered his executive education at both Stanford and Harvard. A triple citizen of the USA, Canada, and the U.K., he is also a member of the board of trustees for the Waterkeeper Alliance. Curleigh loves to play music, surf, ski, and travel extensively with his wife and three kids.

   A lifelong guitarist and avid Gibson collector, Gueikian joins the company as the new chief merchant officer after a 20-year career as an entrepreneur and financier, investing in the growth of companies around the world. He has led teams at global investment houses culminating with the founding and successful growth of his own firm. In his role at Gibson, he will focus on product and its evolution, commercial solutions, and connecting fans through marketing strategies to drive profitable growth.

   As CFO, Mattoon will oversee finance, IT, human resources, legal, facilities & security, and customer service, ensuring that the company builds and maintains the financial, human, and other resources necessary to sustain a growth trajectory and invest in the future. Following ten years at PricewaterhouseCoopers and senior management positions at IWC Schaffhausen, Peter Millar, The Body Shop, and most recently global luxury consumer products company Richemont North America, she brings to Gibson deep financial acumen, proven brand-building experience, and an enterprise-wide understanding of strategy and execution.

   As chief production officer, Schmitz will oversee Gibson's U.S. and global production platform, driving best practices in manufacturing, supply chain synergy, and operational excellence. He brings expertise in operations, production, and manufacturing accumulated from his years of experience working with a variety of industries and global brands. Schmitz has been a key member of the transition team at Gibson over the past year, and his operational leadership, experience, and focus on collaboration and teamwork will immediately benefit the company.

   Nat Zilkha, incoming chairman of Gibson's board of directors and representing KKR, Gibson's new majority ownership group, said, "JC's track record speaks for itself. He's a rock star when it comes to understanding consumers and shaping a marketplace, working with retail partners, and building world-class brands. JC, Cesar, Kim, and Christian bring new energy and vision to Gibson, fueled by authentic passion for the company and music. On behalf of Gibson's board of directors, I look forward to partnering with them to help Gibson achieve its strategic vision and forge a successful, bright future for the company and all of its stakeholders."

   Gibson will emerge from bankruptcy protection on November 1, 2018. Upon emergence, KKR will be the majority owner with the controlling interest of the company. KKR is a leading global investment firm that has an extensive track record of successful investments in retail and consumer industries, helping its portfolio companies achieve sustainable long-term growth.