The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

December 7, 2012

Righting the ship: Taylor repositions, grows company



 “Then we tell them, ‘and we can do all your printing.’ ”

The company now employs 600 technical people who write software for a variety of business applications.

The need to refocus and expand the Taylor Corp. holdings is what brought Taylor back as CEO in 2010.

At the time, Taylor’s daughter, Jean Taylor, had been CEO since 2007. She’d been an executive with Taylor Corp. since 1994. She left the company when Glen Taylor came back.

At the time of her departure, the Star Tribune reported of a power struggle within the corporation. A female HR executive, who left Taylor Corp. at the same time, was quoted as saying three top male executives had sought to oust her and scale back Jean Taylor’s role.

While Taylor hasn’t discussed details of the turbulent times, he’s blunt about the problems he found with the company and management team two years ago.

“In 2008 when the economy went bad, it affected us as a corporation. It was a double whammy as other technology hit printing hard,” Taylor said.

Print industry sales nationwide fell 22 percent from the pre-recession peak.

Most of the top management who’d grown the company alongside Taylor were retired and Jean Taylor led a relatively young and untested management team.

“The young managers only lived through the good times and didn’t have the experience in what to do when you didn’t have growth,” he said.

“They responded mostly by saying, ‘Where do we cut back?’ What I saw at Taylor Corp., it had become the norm. All the meetings were about how sales were down and what do we do. There was an attitude that if business is down somewhere, let’s close it.

“My attitude was always, what else can we make there, how can we change?”

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