Corning Incorporated: Wikis

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Corning Incorporated
Type Public (NYSEGLW)
Founded 1851
Headquarters Corning, New York, USA
Key people Wendell P. Weeks, Chairman and CEO
James B. Flaws, Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer
Peter F. Volanakis, President and Chief Operating Officer
Industry Materials Manufacturer
Products Specialty Glass, Ceramics, Optical Fiber, Cable, Hardware & Equipment, Emissions Control Technology, LCD Glass, Life Sciences Equipment and Products
Revenue US$5.9 billion (2008)
Operating income US$1.520 billion (2008)
Net income US$2.4 billion, excluding special items (2008)
Employees 24,000 worldwide (2009)
Website http://www.corning.com

Corning Incorporated (NYSEGLW) is an American manufacturer of glass, ceramics and related materials, primarily for industrial and scientific applications. The company was known as Corning Glass Works until 1989, when it changed its name to Corning Incorporated. While probably best known for its line of Corelle tableware and Pyrex cookware (businesses which it sold but still holds an ~8% interest in) Corning has transformed itself over the years into a high technology company, allocating a significant amount of resources towards research and development. As of 2008, Corning's businesses are broken down and focused into five major sectors: Display Technologies, Environmental Technologies, Life Sciences, Telecommunications and Specialty Materials. Corning is also involved in several joint equity ventures, the most notable being the Dow Corning Corporation. Quest Diagnostics (NYSEDGX), the largest reference lab company by market capitalization in the world, and Covance (NYSECVD), the largest clinical research organization (CRO) by market capitalization in the world, are both spinoffs of Corning.

One of the first optic headlamp lenses, the Corning Conaphore. Selective yellow "Noviol" glass version shown.

Contents

History

Originally founded in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York, the company later moved its operations to (and took the name of) the city of Corning, New York. Like many companies, Corning's growth and change have led to the elimination or downsizing of many prior operations based within the city. However, Corning still maintains their world headquarters within the city itself. They have also established and continue to expand their nearby research and development facility as well as operations associated with catalytic converters and diesel filters. Corning has a long history of community development and has assured community leaders of their intent to remain headquartered in the city.[1]

In the fall of 1970, the company announced that researchers Robert D. Maurer, Donald Keck, Peter C. Schultz, and Frank Zimar had demonstrated a fiber with 17 dB optic attenuation per kilometer by doping silica glass with titanium. A few years later they produced a fiber with only 4 dB/km using germanium oxide as the core dopant. Such low attenuations ushered in optical fiber telecommunications and enabled the Internet. Corning became the leading manufacturer of optical fiber.

Company profits soared during the late 90's as part of the dot-com boom and Corning expanded its fiber operations significantly with several new plants. They also entered the Photonics market with the intent of becoming a major provider of complete fiber optic systems. The subsequent collapse of the dot-com market had a major impact on the company, with its stock plunging at one point to $1 / share. Corning's dramatic recovery and re-emergence can be attributed to its leadership and employees. As of 2007, Corning has posted five straight years of improving financial performance.

1917 advertisement for the Corning Conaphore headlamp lens shown above.

Current Technologies

As of 2008, Corning is the leading manufacturer, with over 50% of the market share, of the glass used in liquid crystal displays[2]. Corning has recently announced the expansion of existing facilities as well as the construction of an all new Gen 10 facility co-located with the Samsung Group in Korea. Corning is also the only company to have gone "green" with regards to the LCD glass substrate, in that the glass is produced without the use of heavy metals. The company continues to produce optical fiber and cable for the communications industry at its Wilmington and Concord plants. It is also a major manufacturer of ceramic emission control devices for catalytic converters in cars and light trucks that use gasoline engines. The company is also making a major investment in the production of ceramic emission control products for diesel engines as a result of tighter emission standards for those engines both in the U.S. and abroad.

In 2007 they announced the development of an optic fiber, ClearCurve, which uses nanostructure technology to facilitate small radii bending that one would encounter in FTTX installations. Gorilla Glass entered the market in 2008, addressing the scratch resistance and durability needs of handheld devices, especially those employing touchscreens. As part of its commitment to constantly reinventing itself, Corning invests a substantial amount of revenue (~10%) towards research and development and has earmarked $300 million dollars towards further expansion of its Sullivan Park research facility.[3].

Other notable products manufactured by Corning Incorporated include a high purity fused silica employed in microlithography systems, a low expansion glass utilized in the construction of reflective mirror blanks, windows for all U.S. Space Shuttles, and Steuben art glass. While the number of Corning facilities still employing the traditional tanks of molten glass has shrunk over the years, it maintains the capacity to produce a wide assortment of glass compositions and to supply the market with bulk or finished material.

Currently, as part of its research and development efforts, Corning is working in a variety of emerging technology areas including green lasers, mercury abatement, microreactors, photovoltaics and silicon on glass.

Additional information

Corning Incorporated employs more than 23,000 people worldwide and had sales of $5.9 billion for the 2008 calendar year. Corning has been listed for many years among Fortune magazine's 500 largest industrial companies, and is currently ranked 414.

Although the company is publicly owned, James R. Houghton, a descendant of the founder, served as chairman of the board of directors from 2001-2007 and still serves as a director. Wendell P. Weeks is chairman and chief executive officer (as of 2009).

Other Corning notables over its 150 year history include: invention of a process for rapid and inexpensive production of light bulbs (in fact, Corning developed the glass for Thomas Edison's light bulb.); early major manufacturer of glass panels and funnels for television tubes; invention and production of VycorTM (high temperature glass with high thermal shock resistance), and the invention and production of CorelleTM (durable glass dinnerware), PyrexTM, and PyroceramTM (glass-ceramic cookware). Corning manufactured the windows for every US manned space vehicle, as well as supplying the glass blank for the primary mirror in the Hubble Space Telescope. Corning is also a four-time National Medal of Technology winner for its product and process innovations.

In July 2008, Corning announced the sale of its Steuben Glass operations to a private equity company associated with the Schottenstein Luxury Group. The Steuben Glass operations had been unprofitable for over a decade, losing $30 million dollars within the past 5 years.

Board of directors

John Seely Brown : Retired Chief Scientist, Xerox Corporation

Robert F. Cummings, Jr. : Senior Managing Director, GSC Group, Inc.

James B. Flaws : Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, Corning Incorporated

Gordon Gund : Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gund Investment Corporation

Carlos M. Gutierrez : Retired U.S. Secretary of Commerce

James R. Houghton : Chairman Emeritus, Corning Incorporated

Kurt M. Landgraf : President and Chief Executive Officer, Educational Testing Service

James J. O'Connor : Retired Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Unicom Corporation

Deborah D. Rieman : Managing Director, Equus Management Company

H. Onno Ruding : Retired Vice Chairman, Citicorp and Citibank, N.A.

William D. Smithburg : Retired Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Quaker Oats Company

Hansel E. Tookes II : Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Raytheon Aircraft Company

Peter F. Volanakis : President and Chief Operating Officer, Corning Incorporated

Wendell P. Weeks : Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Corning Incorporated

Mark S. Wrighton : Chancellor and Professor of Chemistry, Washington University in St. Louis

See also

External links

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