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Fight For Your Right: How One Man Helped Save The Vinyl Industry

in Blog, Vinyl by Gareth Peebles

Zdenek Pelc is the Czech Republic’s longest serving CEO and earlier this year he won their coveted, Entrepreneur of the Year award, which is absolutely fantastic news and we’re all very happy for him… 

But wait… who is this mysterious man of adjectives, Zdenek Pelc and why should you care?!

At 65 years of age, Mr Pelc is the owner of GZ Media and subsidiary GZ Vinyl, the world’s largest vinyl record manufacturer. But despite his current résumé, there is one title that thankfully alluded him when, during the darker days of vinyl’s recent history (THE 90’s – Ahhhh, run in terror!!), he sought the somewhat macabre and now seemingly infeasible accolade of, ‘Europe’s last vinyl manufacturing plant’.

“In 1995, I was not a visionary […] I decided then that we would keep production running even though we were producing only a small number of records so that we would be the last vinyl company in Europe.” 

So it almost goes without saying that the man of whom we speak is responsible for some of those rare 90’s pressings that you have in your collection and more broadly, has contributed large chunks of glossy black polymer to collections across the world. Producing 18 million records on site last year and expecting to reach the 25 million mark by the end of 2016, while providing jobs for 2,000 employees.  

All of which must seem like a dream to Zdenek who has been with the company since – under communist rule – it was state owned and as CEO he earned less than the maintenance men! 

“You could make $7m profit as a company, but you would have to give it all to the government. Then if you needed to invest, say, $300,000 you would have to go begging on your knees. As CEO, I was 38th on the company salary list. All the maintenance workers earned more. Looking back, it feels like a bad dream.” 

So, from a dwindling state controlled operation, to current market leader, Zdenek has played a huge part in keeping vinyl alive and for this we thank him.

Via: The Guardian

About the Author

Gareth Peebles – I have always been in love with popular culture – but, being a child of the 80’s and part of “the MTV generation”, I suppose it’s fitting that the one constant in my pop culture obsession has been music. Music, music, music. All day, everyday, in every and any way that I can get it.

My first full time job was at a now defunct major label store – which I loved. Then I taught Media Theory & Production for a few years – which I also loved. Now I get to listen to music all day and create stuff using computers, which I love too!

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