Yoshi Ikegami steps down as president of Boss

Yoshi Ikegami and a Boss HM-2W Waza Craft
(Image credit: Yoshi Ikegami/Instagram / Future)

Yoshi Ikegami has announced that, as of today (March 30), he will be stepping down as the president of Boss.

Ikegami, who has been with the Roland Corporation for over 40 years, made the announcement via a statement posted to social media, in which he confirmed he will help Boss as Executive Advisor for a short time before fully retiring.

“Announcement to all my friends,” Ikegami wrote. “March 30th, today is my final day as President of Boss. I have decided to retire, so I leave from the front line. 

“I will help Boss as Executive Advisor for a while to support the new team and some projects that I’m involved in,” he continued. “This is a huge change to me with my 44 years of Roland/Boss life. I appreciate [the] people who I met and worked [with]. I will enjoy my new life and keep on rocking!”

Ikegami’s legacy with Boss will no doubt be remembered fondly by everyone in the guitar community. His career with Roland began in 1978, when he got a job after graduating from high school assembling synthesizers and other units.

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He later specialized as an engineer, and went on to design an array of celebrated pedals and effects, such as Roland’s SDE-3000 delay rack unit – which was his first project and a favorite of Steve Vai – and the reverb algorithm that is still used in the Boss RV-6 reverb pedal.

Ikegami became president of Boss in 2014, and for the past six years has helped steer Boss through one of its most prolific eras. Under his watch, Boss has unveiled the Waza Craft range – which debuted the year he became head honcho – as well as the SY-300 Synthesizer, Katana amp family and other more innovative offerings.

His time overseeing Boss’s activities will also be defined by the close relationship he developed with fans of the brand. While the Waza Craft HM-2W was in development, for example, Ikegami regularly conversed with consumers on Facebook over what they wanted from the pedal.

Likewise, his regular Talk with Boss episodes on YouTube – the most recent of which is dedicated to the newly announced RE-2 and RE-202 Space Echo units – saw Ikegami show face to the guitar community and engage in in-depth conversations with his peers.

There’s been no official word on Ikegami’s replacement yet, so keep your eyes peeled on Boss for further updates relating to the brand’s reshuffle.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.