June 4, 1977

  • New York Times reports: “Job Changes. Robert P. Bull, 50, has been named president of Steinway & Sons, succeeding Henry Z. Steinway, who will become chairman of the piano company that is now a component of the CBS musical instruments division”.
  • Robert P. Bull will only serve as Steinway & Sons’ president for about a year and a half. The period of Robert P. Bull’s presidency is referred to as “dark period” in Steinway & Sons history by musicians who are familiar with the abrupt decline in quality of Steinway & Sons pianos during that time. Steinway & Sons employees will remember Robert P. Bull as a man who “had an abrasive manner and rarely consulted with Steinway family members and senior employees. [...] He imposed his own way of doing things, without any consideration for the more than a century’s worth of experience at his fingertips.”
  • One of the notable Robert P. Bull “accomplishments” during his brief tenure as Steinway & Sons’ president will be the absurd firing of another Steinway from the Steinway & Sons: William T. Steinway, Henry Z. Steinway’s son who has worked in the Engineering and Design department.
  • A few months after the appointment of Robert P. Bull as Steinway & Sons president, Henry Z. Steinway will threaten his resignation from Steinway & Sons, presenting John Phillips, a vice-president of CBS, with a list of complaints about Robert P. Bull’s management of Steinway & Sons. That list will persuade CBS top management that Robert P. Bull should be fired, and Henry Z. Steinway will remain with the company for three more years.