Glen Taylor, billionaire founder of Taylor Corp., is stepping aside as CEO of the Mankato-area printing company in favor of his niece.
Taylor, 74, who will remain as chairman, said he still expects to be fully involved in both the corporation and his other holdings, which include the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Star Tribune.
Deb Taylor joined the 40-year-old privately held graphic communications conglomerate more than four years ago and begins her new CEO job immediately.
Taylor said in an interview that he was happy and proud of his niece, and that she has “taken over one responsibility after another” in the corporation and been effectively working as its CEO for the past six months or more.
“She’s a wonderful woman, and she has worked very hard at it,” he said. “Our goal is to expand the company, and this will just allow us to make acquisitions and [plan for] internal growth. I think she can help provide that leadership.”
As recently as October, Glen Taylor said he was mentoring his niece to succeed him at the helm.
“While change and consolidation are a constant in our industry, one thing remains unchanged: our focus on meeting our customers’ needs today and into the future,” Deb Taylor said in a statement.
Born in South Korea, Deb Taylor was adopted about 45 years ago at age 7 by Glen’s older brother, Roger, and joined her new family in Rosemount. She came to Taylor Corp. in 2011 from Liberty Mutual on the East Coast.
A company spokeswoman said Tuesday that Deb Taylor was traveling and not available for an interview.
But she said in an interview last year with the southern Minnesota business magazine Connect that she and her uncle had talked throughout the years.
“Not in my wildest dreams did I think we would end up in Minnesota,” she told the magazine.
During the wide-ranging interview, Deb Taylor described herself as “very methodical and careful in my thinking. I spent my first year here listening and learning about the company cultures and opportunities.”
She added that in early 2011, she visited her uncle and “spent a day talking about the business, but more importantly about what our relationship would be like should I work for him.”
By April of that year, she was on board with no particular title, focusing much of her time on finance, human resources, legal issues and IT, she told the business magazine.
Deb Taylor has a daughter and a son in their late 20s.
Taylor Corp. comprises more than 80 companies in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Britain, France, India, China, Bulgaria and the Philippines. It has more than 9,000 employees.
Glen Taylor calls Mankato home and is a graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a former minority leader in the Minnesota Senate. Forbes magazine estimates he has amassed a net worth of $1.8 billion through his corporation. Separate holdings include the Timberwolves, the Star Tribune and Rembrandt Foods.
“I don’t think it’s going to change my work and time,” Glen Taylor said about stepping down as CEO. “I’ll still be busy, and I enjoy it.”