Taylor Guitars has announced its transition to 100% employee ownership through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”).
“We have delighted in giving people the joy of music and hope to do so for generations to come,” Bob Taylor, co-founder and President of Taylor Guitars, said in a media statement.
“Becoming 100% ESOP allows us to ensure our independence for the long-term future and continue to realize our vision for the company as an innovative guitar manufacturer,” he added.
Kurt Listug, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, said, “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.”
Listug said he views the transition in ownership as the next step to ensure a sustainable future for the company, while also providing a valuable financial benefit to people who have contributed to 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.”
The company said the new ownership structure supports continuity, adding Taylor Guitars will serve its customers, suppliers, and broader community “with the same passion and innovation it has before.”
The company said Bob Taylor, Kurt Listug, Andy Powers, and other members of Taylor’s leadership team remain committed to the company and that there will be no changes to management structure, operations policies, or practices.
Taylor Guitars was founded in 1974 by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug and has grown into the leading global builder of premium acoustic guitars.