PGF honors Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of the Gibson Guitar Corp as its person of the month for March 2004.
We honor Mr. Juszkiewicz not only for his life long business achievements and the savvy, foresight, and innovation with which he has managed companies such as Gibson Guitar, but more so for his dedication to charity and the cooperation his enterprises have shown towards sustainable development. We identify with his determination in taking the world of music in new directions – into the digital age. We appreciate the risk involved in reinventing the guitar. Just as the leap from acoustic to electric changed to world of music so too will Mr. Juszkiewicz’s venture into the digital world open new avenues of creativity for artists. In the end, his traits, talent, and love of music serve as a model for the cause of doing right in the world.
About Henry Juszkiewicz:
Henry Juszkiewicz, chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar Corp., grew up in Rochester, NY. With a passion for music and superior academic skills, he enrolled at the General Motors Institute in Flint, MI, a five-year co-op engineering college. Sponsored by GM’s Delco division, he gained experience in a variety of different jobs at Delco’s 6,000-employee electronic components plant in Rochester. Putting his musical skills to work, he worked his way through school playing guitar – a Gibson, of course – in various rock bands playing for parties and weddings. After graduating with honors, he worked at Delco Products for two years as product manager while studying for an M.B.A. in night school at the University of Rochester. He completed his M.B.A. at Harvard University on a General Motors Fellowship.
Juszkiewicz then joined the New York firm of Neiderhoffer, Cross and Zeckhauser, Inc., a pioneer in the area of middle-market deals, where he rose to the position of executive vice president of mergers and acquisitions. He left the firm in 1981 and, with two former Harvard classmates (David Berryman and Gary Zebrowski), acquired Phi Technologies of Oklahoma City. Within one month he turned the struggling technology firm into a highly profitable company.
In 1986, Juszkiewicz and his partners acquired the faltering Gibson guitar operation from the Norlin Corporation. Juszkiewicz’s aggressive management style again effected an immediate turnaround, and Gibson became profitable within a month’s time. With creative and innovative marketing tactics he concentrated on the consumer rather than the retailer – a reflection of his personal experience as a guitar player. Refocusing the Company on achieving the highest possible standards of quality and customer service, he drove Gibson from the brink of closing to a company that has regained worldwide respect with annual average growth of 20 percent over the last decade.
Today’s Gibson electric guitars represent the history as well as the future of the electric guitar. The models whose designs have become classics-the ES-175, ES-335, Flying V, Explorer, Firebird, SGs and Les Pauls-are a testament to Gibson’s wide appeal, spanning more than four decades of music styles.
Juszkiewicz began fulfilling his vision of Gibson as a full-line musical instrument company by acquiring other music-related companies. Today, Gibson includes Gibson guitars, basses, banjos, mandolins and amplifiers, Epiphone fretted instruments and amplifiers, Dobro® resonator guitars, Flatiron mandolins, Trace Elliot amplifiers, Slingerland drums, Steinberger basses, Tobias basses, Gibson Strings & Original Equipment, Gibson Showcases, and the Baldwin Piano Co.