Joly Steps Down as President of Musician's Friend

Gene Joly has stepped down as president of Musician's Friend, effective immediately.

Joly started working at Guitar Center, parent company for Musician's Friend, in 2002, where he held a number of leadership roles, including senior vice president of high-tech merchandising for Guitar Center, executive vice president of merchandising for Musician's Friend and executive vice president of Guitar Center stores, before being named president of Musician's Friend in September 2013.

Gene's career in the MI industry started long before GC when he joined E.U. Wurlitzer in 1975, a seven-store retail chain in Boston. Within 10 years, he became the president and CEO of Wurlitzer, a role that he then held for over 12 years. He them went on to serve as director of store development at Thoroughbred Music from 1996-1998. Joly then worked as vice president and general manager of Tascam for nearly five years before joining GC.

"Over the past 15 months, I've had the pleasure of leading the Musician's Friend team while staying close to all of you here at GC, where I've worked for more than 12 years," Joly said in a letter that went out to the staff. "After a great deal of time and personal reflection with my family, I've made the decision to step down as president of Musician's Friend to make room for a new direction and new leadership in 2015. There's no question about the challenges the Musician's Friend business has faced over the last few years as Amazon and other emerging Web retailers continue to disrupt the marketplace. As this new landscape continues to take shape, the Guitar Center, Musician's Friend and Music & Arts teams are continuing to focus relentlessly on improving our effectiveness and efficiency to remain competitive and top-of-mind. Fortunately for us, this organization has the right people and the winning spirit to get the job done in 2015 and beyond.
"Like so many of you, music has been a passion and source of great joy in my life since I first picked up a guitar when I was 11 years old," Joly continued. "I can't tell you what it has meant to me to have worked in an organization that allowed me to help carry out our mission of helping people make music, every day. I've been so fortunate to work with many great people - they are the ones I will miss the most."

"Gene is a leader that is well known and highly respected across the industry, and while I haven't had the opportunity to get to know Gene as long as many of you have, his contributions cannot be overstated," said Darrell Webb, president and CEO of Musician's Friend, in a letter to the entire Guitar Center organization.

Effective immediately, the Musician's Friend division will report directly to Michael Amkreutz, executive vice president of merchandising, marketing and e-commerce.