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Fender CEO
Announces Retirement

Larry Thomas, CEO of Fender Musical Instruments since 2010, will retire May 31 according to the company. Current interim COO Scott Gilbertson will assume the role of interim CEO until Fender finds a successor.

Among other accomplishments, Thomas opened the doors to the 8,400-square-foot Fender Visitor Center in Corona, Calif., in 2011. He also established the company's first direct office in China and brought greater focus to the company's commitment to building global lifestyle brands. Before joining Fender, Thomas was the CEO of Guitar Center from 1996–2004.

"We did a lot in just a few years and I leave feeling like our table is set for the company’s future direction," Thomas said in a release. "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.”

Gilbertson has been interim COO since Oct. 2013 and currently serves on Fender's board. He perviously held executive positions at companies including J.Crew, Under Armour and Bally International.