In a press release dated May 29th, 2014, the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation has announced that The Edge and Bono have been appointed to the company’s board of directors.
“By adding The Edge and Bono to the board of Fender, we are taking an important step toward building a company that is able to meet its potential as a business and a brand,” said Bill McGlashan, Fender co-chairman. “The music world is changing and Fender is undergoing a transformation into a better music company.”
“While the company’s strength is rooted in its history as a maker of authentic, iconic musical instruments, Fender is also a music company. The Edge’s track record as a guitarist and an innovator of unique sounds through his use of technology makes him an ideal partner to grow Fender’s brand,” said Mark Fukunaga, Fender co-chairman. “Bono is a visionary in the music world who also has business acumen and creativity that will help Fender thrive.”
“This is something of a kid in a candy store situation for me. I’ve been a fan of Fender guitars from the beginning, playing them on all the most important U2 tours and albums. But I’m most interested in working with the Fender design team on some new ideas,” said The Edge.
Bono added, “Wherever you go in the world Fender is a standard bearer, not just for excellence in technology and craft, but for the influence of American culture. This made-in-USA company has at its heart innovation…the iconoclasm of Jimi Hendrix, the subtle sweet murmurings of Bill Frisell, as well as the most roadworthy loudspeaker on earth. When a festivalgoer wears a Fender t-shirt, they are saying a lot about themselves. They love music; they’re independent-spirited, they’re proud of this truly American company, a nexus of technology and culture which, in the end, can’t be copied no matter how hard the giants try. I’m excited to be part of developing newer technologies with Fender, as well as helping protect the jobs and commitment to excellence of their age-old craft.”
The Edge and Bono, best known as the guitarist and lead singer for the seminal band U2, bring a unique blend of experience in music, entertainment, business and advocacy to the 68-year-old music company. As members of the board, they will carry on the tradition of Fender as a creator of iconic musical instruments and will guide the company as it pursues new strategies to grow through increased engagement with fans.
As founding members of the band U2, The Edge and Bono are leaders in rock music. Over five decades, the band has established itself as one of the best-selling music artists of all time with albums such as War, The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby. In addition to U2, both men have followed their passions. The Edge launched Music Rising, a foundation created to revive the music scene in New Orleans after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. Bono is a well-known activist in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, co-founding The ONE Campaign and (RED). By joining the board of Fender, The Edge and Bono are carrying on the tradition of U2 working with the company. In 2011, bassist Adam Clayton collaborated with the company to build a Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition Signature Precision Bass guitar.
The Edge and Bono joining the board of Fender is the most recent development in the company’s revitalization and transformation. In April, the company announced Bob Roback as president and named him to the board of directors. Roback was most recently the Chief Executive Officer of Dashbox and is overseeing the development of Fender’s digital strategy to engage directly with musicians and music fans.
Photo: Kevin Mazur