Taylor Guitars Master Builder and partner Andy Powers has been promoted to Chief Guitar Designer, President and CEO of the company.
While the move means co-founders Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug will step back from their roles as President and CEO, respectively, the pair will remain with Taylor as senior advisers and will be co-chairs on the company's board of directors.
Taylor and Listug – who have been in charge for the last 48 years – announced the news of Powers' promotion to the company's employee-owners on Monday (May 30).
“When Bob and I started thinking about our succession many years ago, Bob was very clear that we needed a guitar maker at the helm of the company,” Listug said during the announcement.
“He was adamant he didn't want to leave the leadership of the company in the hands of people who didn't know how to design and make guitars.”
“It’s been amazing – but not surprising – to see how the guitar world has embraced Andy as a guitar designer,” Bob Taylor said. “People love the guitars he’s putting out into the world.”
A press release accompanying the announcement says since joining the company in 2011, Powers has “steadily advanced the state of guitar making at Taylor”, crediting him with “revoicing virtually the entire Taylor line and expanding the sonic palette of Taylor's guitar offerings”.
“Andy has the vision and the talent to continue to take guitar making forward at Taylor,” Taylor added. “He's vital to the company's future.”
Another factor in the decision to promote Powers to CEO, President and Chief Guitar Designer was that he's been “immersed” in other non-guitar-making aspects of Taylor's business operations and executive management during his tenure.
“Andy has worked closely with sales, marketing, finance, human resources – all the departments under my leadership – since he joined us in 2011, and he unerstands their functions deeply,” Lustig continued during the announcement.
“Additionally, I've spent the past several years mentoring Andy on financial budgeting, reviewing financial statements and other aspects of our business management, and he has a thorough understanding of the company's finances.”
“Kurt and I love being here, and we love this transition,” Bob Taylor added. “It's a beautiful time for us, and it helps everybody easy into the future. Andy has our full support, and we've got a great executive team and an incredible group of employee-owners working with him.”
“It's an honor to step into this new role,” Powers says. “It's been a real thrill to be part of this amazing company, now fully employee-owned, and continues advancing according to our original purpose – which is building great guitars, putting them into the hands of musicians and offering something of value to them.”
Since joining Taylor in 2011, Andy Powers has been responsible for many of the company's designs, including its V-Class bracing architecture and new body styles including the Grand Pacific and Grand Theater.
He became an ownership partner in 2018, after which he worked with Bob Taylor and Kurt Lustig to transition the company to a 100-percent employee-ownership model in 2021.