Businessman Glen Taylor has retaken the helm of Taylor Corp., the Mankato-based communications-services company, for the second time in nearly a decade after announcing that his niece, Deb Taylor, has stepped down.
Deb Taylor had served as chief executive of the graphics communications, printing and marketing firm since June 2015 after spending several years learning the ropes under her uncle’s guidance. Taylor’s daughter Jean left in 2010 after nine years as CEO.
Taylor Corp. is one of the nation’s largest privately held companies, with more than 80 subsidiaries and 12,000 employees across North America and seven other countries. Taylor, 78, a self-made billionaire who built the company from a small wedding-card business in 1975, declined to be interviewed.
Glen Taylor’s separate holdings include the Star Tribune, Iowa-based Rembrandt Foods and the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx professional basketball teams. Jean Taylor is chair of the Star Tribune Media Co.’s board of directors.
In a statement, Glen Taylor said he was assuming leadership responsibilities from Deb Taylor “with a heavy heart.”
“I am very proud to have had the opportunity to work with her over these last eight years and am grateful for her leadership as CEO of the organization,” said Taylor, who also is corporate chairman. “In that time, she has not only led the organization through two significant acquisitions, but provided sound counsel to me on a number of other matters. I wish her only the best in the next chapter of her life.”
Rank-and-file employees learned of the decision on Wednesday.
Deb Taylor came to the family-owned business in 2011 and spent four years without a title, working in finance, human resources, legal and IT, according to a 2014 interview she did with the business magazine, Connect. Glen Taylor spoke publicly of mentoring her to take command of the company.
Reasons for her departure were not known.
“It has been the time of my life having led this great organization,” Deb Taylor said in a statement. “I am eternally grateful to Glen, who has lived up to the mission of opportunity and security by providing me these last eight years. I will miss his counsel and the entire Taylor team, and I know that successful days are ahead for them.”
Deb Taylor oversaw Taylor Communications’ growing footprint, with operations now across 25 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, as well as Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Sweden, France, Bulgaria, India, China and the Philippines.
According to the company website, she “spearheaded a refreshed brand strategy, expanded technology offerings and deepened Taylor’s presence in the marketplace” during her tenure.
She helped lead two significant deals that doubled the size of Taylor Corp.
One was the $307 million purchase of Ohio communications-services firm Standard Register Co. in June 2015. The other came in July 2016 when Taylor acquired Staples Print Solutions and about 10 printing facilities belonging to office-products retailer Staples for an undisclosed amount.
Taylor had $2.2 billion in revenue in 2017, according to Forbes’ list of the largest private companies.
Born in Seoul, Deb Taylor was adopted by Glen Taylor’s older brother, Roger, when she was 7. She earned an MBA from the University of New Hampshire and began her business career at Liberty Mutual in Boston.
Taylor Communications has long maintained a low-key corporate profile, with the hub of operations anchored in North Mankato.