Taylor Guitars is now completely owned by its employees

Taylor Guitars
(Image credit: Taylor Guitars)

Acoustic guitar giant Taylor has announced its transition to 100% employee ownership. “We have delighted in giving people the joy of music and hope to do so for generations to come,” said Bob Taylor, co-founder and President of Taylor Guitars.

 “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.” 


(Image credit: Taylor)

ESOP is an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. It's tax-qualified and enables employees to receive a retirement benefit linked to Taylor Guitars’ future equity value. While Employees at Taylor’s production facility in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico, will participate in its US-based ESOP plan, European Union employees will be participants in a similar incentive plan available under EU regulations. 

Kurt Listug, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, 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.” 


From left: Bob Taylor,  Andy Powers and Kurt Listug (Image credit: Taylor Guitars)

“We believe we’ve created a special company, where passionate people can engage in problem-solving innovation, collaboration and respect"

Kurt Listug, Taylor co-founder

This ownership transition proves that Taylor's idea of sustainability goes far beyond the trailblazing ways it has approached sourcing tonewood for its guitars. 

The ESOP scheme sees Taylor providing a significant financial benefit to the workforce that has contributed to its ongoing success. “We believe we’ve created a special company, where passionate people can engage in problem-solving innovation, collaboration and respect,” adds Listug. “Securing our independence through an ESOP allows us to strengthen this culture.” 

Taylor Guitars now joins other ESOP success stories, including Clif Bar & Company, King Arthur Flour Baking Company, and W.L. Gore & Associates.

For more information about Taylor Guitars visit taylorguitars.com

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.