Taylor Guitars transitions to entirely employee-owned model

The change sees each employee receive a retirement benefit linked to Taylor's equity value.

Acoustic brand Taylor Guitars has announced it has moved to a fully employee-owned model, through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

Bob Taylor, Taylor president and co-founder, said of the move: “We have delighted in giving people the joy of music and hope to do so for generations to come. Becoming 100% ESOP allows us to ensure our independence for the long-term future and continue to realise our vision for the company as an innovative guitar manufacturer.”

Kurt Listug, Taylor co-founder and CEO added: “While Bob and I are not retiring, we have been preparing for our eventual exit. Master guitar designer Andy Powers is not only the wellspring of our guitar designs for the future, but he also joined our leadership team several years ago, and strengthening our leadership team has been essential to our succession planning.”

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Listug also explained how the transition in ownership isn’t just to ensure the future of the company – it also financially benefits those responsible for its success: “We believe we’ve created a special company, where passionate people can engage in problem-solving innovation, collaboration and respect,” he said. “Securing our independence through an ESOP allows us to strengthen this culture.”

Taylor’s new ownership structure will still see Bob Taylor, Kurt Listug, Andy Powers and the rest of Taylor’s leadership team remain at the company, and there will be no changes to its management structure or operations policies.

Employees at Taylor’s production facility in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico, will participate in its US-based ESOP plan, and European Union employees will be participants in a similar incentive plan available under EU regulations.

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