Business in Focus: Taylor Guitars

A closer look at companies executing leadership excellence

What do Neil Young, Taylor Swift, and Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi have in common?  They are all fans of Taylor Guitars. Neil Young helped put Taylor on the map in 1978.  He fell in love with a 12-string he picked up at a music shop while vacationing in Florida. He liked it so much that he ordered a second and featured it in his concert film, “Rust Never Sleeps.”

Taylor Swift sported a ruby red Taylor on tour to promote her RED album. Black Sabbath Co-Founder Tony Iommi bought his first Taylor acoustic around 1998. He like to add the softer strings to add dynamic to the band’s signature heavy metal sound.

Established in 1974 by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug, Taylor Guitars has grown into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium acoustic and electric guitars. Headquartered in El Cajon, California, Taylor employs over 900 people and currently produces hundreds of guitars per day in the U.S. and Mexico.

TaylorGuitarBob Taylor, the company’s co-founder, is passionate about producing quality guitars for many years to come.  He has already chosen his successor, Andy Powers, to help ensure that the company thrives in the 21st century.  But, “that’s just the short-term view,” said Bob in the Winter 2015 edition of Wood & Steel, the company’s signature magazine.  “…as we look forward 50 or 100 years, I feel that making guitars that please the environment as much as the player is of the utmost importance.”

With Andy Powers helping with the day-to-day business, Bob Taylor is free to follow his passion for sustainability.  Guitar enthusiasts want instruments made from the finest woods like mahogany and ebony.  With worldwide forest acreage dwindling, Taylor is committed to harvest wood in an environmentally friendly manner, while improving the quality of life for forest-dependent communities.

Communities around Copen, Honduras, for example, manage more than 40,000 acres in one of the most remote and endangered tropical forests in Central America’s Mosquito Coast.  Taylor works directly with community leaders to harvest the wood in a manner known as social forestry.  With this model, forestation is controlled and the community’s culture and livelihood are protected.

At Taylor, sustainability is more than simply complying with the law. It’s a commitment to honor and protect the natural resources and supply partners that will help produce quality, craft guitars for generations.

To learn more about Taylor Guitars, visit them at or follow them on twitter @TaylorGuitars



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