Andy Powers, head of guitar development at Taylor Guitars, has been promoted to president and CEO of the El Cajon-based company.
Officials at Taylor, one of the world’s leading builders of premium acoustic guitars, said that Powers will continue to lead the company’s guitar development area, and that his new title will be Chief Guitar Designer, President and CEO.
Taylor co-founders Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug made the announcement to the company’s employee-owners on Monday, May 30, along with Powers, in a video message. Powers steps into the new roles immediately.
“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. “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.”
Company officials say that since being hired by Bob Taylor in 2011 as master guitar designer and the company’s heir apparent, Powers has steadily advanced the state of guitar making at Taylor, revoicing virtually the entire Taylor line and expanding the sonic palette of Taylor’s guitar offerings.
Powers has introduced many innovative, tone-enhancing designs through the years, from Taylor’s V-Class bracing architecture to new body styles including the Grand Pacific and Grand Theater to the company’s ultra-premium Builder’s Edition collection.
Powers’ designs have consistently earned accolades from guitar reviewers, Taylor officials said.
“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.”
Powers was named an ownership partner in 2018. That change marked a reflection of Bob Taylor and Listug’s desire to keep guitar making as a central focus at Taylor for the long-term of the company.
That commitment was further reinforced when the company announced its transition to 100-percent employee ownership in 2021.
Powers said he was honored to step into his new role.
“It’s been a real thrill to be part of this amazing company, now fully employee-owned, and continue 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,” he said.
Bob Taylor, Listug and Powers said they felt the move was the best arrangement to preserve the culture of creativity and guitar innovation that has fueled Taylor’s growth and success.
Powers’ creative vision, award-winning designs and proven leadership at the company, along with his career commitment to the company, were important factors in that decision, giving Taylor and Listug the confidence to choose that path forward, Bob Taylor said.
“Andy has the vision and the talent to continue to take guitar making forward at Taylor,” Bob Taylor said. “He’s vital to the company’s future.”
Neither Taylor nor Listug will be retiring. Each will serve as senior advisors and co-chairmen of the Taylor Guitars board, a group established as part of the company’s move to employee ownership.