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Fender’s Larry Thomas to Retire as CEO

ce42ccea-c8d0-47d0-95bb-7803bd132d23Larry Thomas has announced his retirement from Fender effective May 31st, 2014. Interim COO Scott Gilbertson will assume the role of interim CEO while the company finds a successor.

During his three plus years as CEO, Thomas presided over the release of the Fender Select series, the Fender American Vintage series and the American Design Experience. He was also instrumental in opening Fender’s 8,400 square foot visiting center in Corona, California.

I am extremely proud of the success we have achieved in my time at Fender,” said Thomas. “We did a lot in just a few years and I leave feeling like our table is set for the company’s future direction. This has truly been a wonderful life-experience. FMIC is a wonderful company and Fender is a great brand, and I am very thankful to have played a part in the company’s history.

Thomas began his music career in 1971, working with instrument importer/wholesaler Buegeleisen and Jacobson. He joined Guitar Center in 1977 as a salesperson, then rose to store manager, regional manager, general manager, president and ultimately chairman and CEO.

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Larry with Phyllis Fender

As a guitar player himself,  Larry Thomas said he felt like a “kid in a candy store” at Fender: “Seeing beautiful guitars being made and seeing the pride on the factory floor gave me goose bumps. It was the source of the Fender magic.”

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Comments

2 Responses to “Fender’s Larry Thomas to Retire as CEO”
  1. Congratulations Larry. May the next life-chapter afford much peace, rest, and enjoyable travel.

    Fender is one of the finest companies on the planet, and you’ve done a great job of maintaining the standard of excellence.

    One of the oldest-known stringed-instrument-players wrote a book, maybe 3,000 years ago. One verse within such contains a call to the guitar player: “Sing to me a new song, do so with skill, and with joy” (Psalm 33:3).

    May you hereafter find daily occasion to compose new songs, as you do so with skill, and with joy–as you enjoy the best years of your life.

  2. The-Kid says:

    Good riddance Larry.

    I am glad the higher ups at FMIC finally came to their senses and I imagine had a huge role in your “retirement”.

    As as I have said before the sooner you get put out to grass the better and I am happy for Fenders sake and its progressive future that day has finally come.

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