Slash Called Him the “Most Passionate Gibson Guitar Enthusiast” While Tony Iommi Said He Transformed the Company: Cesar Gueikian Is Appointed President and CEO of Gibson Brands

Cesar Gueikian plays with Better Than Ezra during day one of the 2022 Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival on September 24, 2022 in Franklin, Tennessee.
(Image credit: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival)

Over the last five years, we’ve all seen Gibson transform into the forward-thinking, history-conscious brand it is today. Central to that change has been fellow music lover and “guitar nerd” Cesar Gueikian who joined the firm in 2018.

An accomplished guitarist, Cesar has performed and recorded with a host of notables including Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and Rob Trujillo, Dave Mustaine, Richie Faulkner, Jared James Nichols, Mana and more. All in all, he is a passionate musician with a love of songwriting who really understands and appreciates the artists working in today’s guitar world.

Along with his world-class business acumen, Cesar’s passion for music has helped shape the successful Gibson we see today. In addition to playing a key role in revamping the company’s strategy, just some of his achievements include creating Gibson Media, launching Gibson TV, and securing partnerships with an impressive list of Gibson artists.

“I have had the opportunity to work closely with Cesar as we have rebuilt Gibson over the past five years,” said Chairman of Gibson Brands, Nat Zilkha. “He has established a remarkable track record at Gibson, shaping our product, our marketing, our artist relationships, and many of our important growth initiatives.

But the praise doesn’t end there; a plethora of Gibson artists has stepped forward to weigh in on the man Slash described as “one of, if not the smartest, most passionate Gibson guitar enthusiasts I've ever met.”

Tony Iommi commented on how Cesar helped reverse Gibson’s ailing status. “I can’t believe how Cesar has transformed Gibson from a brand on its way down and out to the success it is today,” said the Black Sabbath guitarist. “He went out of his way to meet with musicians and take note of what we were saying, gathering a great team around him. It’s now a company I’m proud to be associated with.”

Cesar Gueikian, President and CEO of Gibson Brands

Cesar Gueikian, President and CEO of Gibson Brands (Image credit: Gibson)

Kirk Hammett kept it short and sweet: “I’m going to quote what a wise man once said to me: do epic shit, bro!”

Meanwhile, Cesar himself had this to say: “I am honored and humbled to take on the permanent CEO role! Gibson is a passion project for me. Our board of directors, chaired by Nat Zilkha, has been incredibly supportive over the last five years, giving me an opportunity to merge my biggest passion, which is not just music and guitars, but Gibson guitars with my business background, and I don’t take this for granted.”

Further support came from Lzzy Hale (“Cesar operates on a level of passion that is otherworldly”); Dave Mustaine (“I can’t think of a better, more passionate, intelligent person, to be at the helm of [the] Gibson empire”); Emily Wolfe (“Cesar has a knack for innovation in the gear world”); and many more artists besides.

Cesar’s colleague Mark Agnesi also sang his praises, adding, “I can’t think of a better leader to take Gibson forward into the next chapter,” as did Mat Koehler who said, "Cesar becoming Gibson's CEO means everything to my team and I, and we couldn't be more excited about the future with him at the helm.”

With more back-slapping than a warehouse full of Maestro Echoplexes, it’s fair to say the general feeling is that Gibson has been, and will continue to be, in good hands for the foreseeable future.

Congratulations, Cesar! Here’s to another five years.

Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as GuitaristTotal Guitar, Guitar WorldGuitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.