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S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
Type Private
Founded 1886
Headquarters Racine, Wisconsin
Key people Dr. Herbert Fisk Johnson III, Chairman & CEO
Industry Consumer products
Products Shout, Windex, Mr. Muscle, Ziploc, Edge, Glade, Brise, Vanish, Raid, OFF!, Kabikiller, Pledge, Scrubbing Bubbles
Revenue US$ 8.75 billion
Employees 12,000

S. C. Johnson (SC Johnson & Son, Inc.), previously known as SC Johnson Wax (and earlier, Johnson Wax), is a global manufacturer of household cleaning supplies and other consumer chemicals based in Racine, Wisconsin. It has operations in 72 countries and its brands are sold in over 110. It is the largest component of the Johnson Family Enterprises, which also includes the Johnson Financial Group, JohnsonDiversey, Inc. (formerly Johnson Wax Professional and the acquisition of DiverseyLever, comprising primarily the former Dubois Chemical), and Johnson Outdoors. In 2006 S. C. Johnson & Son employed approximately 12,000 and had estimated sales of $7.5 billion. (S.C. Johnson should not be confused with Johnson & Johnson, another large consumer packaged goods maker.)



The company began when Samuel Curtis Johnson, Sr. purchased the parquet flooring business of Racine Hardware Company in 1886 and renamed it Johnson's Prepared Paste Wax Company. Management has since passed down through five generations of the Johnson family; the longevity of this dynasty is itself unusual. In 1939 the first part of the Johnson Wax Building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opened. The tower opened in 1950.

From April, 1935 until May, 1950, the company was the sponsor for the Fibber McGee & Molly radio show, officially known as The Johnson's Wax Program; each episode featured an appearance by pitchman and Johnson representative Harlow Wilcox. To maximize show time, Wilcox was written into the script as a Johnson's-obsessed friend of the McGees (commonly called "Waxy" ) who would show up mid-episode and managed to weave an ad into his lines, often using extremely far-fetched segues for comedic effect. Common products advertised on the show were Johnson's Wax, Johnson's Glo-Coat, and Johnson's Car-Nu.

Also during the 1950s, the company served as sponsor of the game show, The Name's the Same; alternating with Swanson, also co-sponsoring Robert Montgomery Presents on NBC, and later on CBS, The Red Skelton Show .

In 1984, Cornell University renamed its business school the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management in recognition of the Johnson family's long generosity to that institution.

In 1992, the company bought Drackett, manufacturer of Windex, Drāno and other specialty cleaning products. In 1997 S.C. Johnson expanded its roster of consumer brands when it purchased Dow Chemical's DowBrands division, which included Ziploc, Saran, Fantastik, Glass Plus, Scrubbing Bubbles, and Spray 'n Wash. The company received approval for the deal in 1998 from the Federal Trade Commission by agreeing to sell Glass Plus and Spray 'n Wash to competitor Reckitt Benckiser.

The current Chairman and CEO, Dr. Herbert Fisk Johnson III, is the fifth generation of the Johnson family to lead the company. He succeeds his father, Samuel Curtis Johnson, Jr., who died in May, 2004.

The company was one of three 2006 recipients of the Ron Brown Award for corporate leadership.

From 2005 to 2007, S. C. Johnson & Son has been ranked by Fortune Magazine as one of the top 10 "Companies to Work For" in their annual ranking. In 2007, the company was ranked #7.

Despite its large size, the company remains privately owned by the Johnson family, and is currently in its fifth generation of family stewardship.


In every year since 2003, S. C. Johnson & Son has received a perfect 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign's annual Corporate Equality Index report. In 2005 and 2006, Working Mothers magazine named the company among the top ten in its annual list of 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers.

Brand names

Among the brands owned by S. C. Johnson & Son are the following:

  • Personal care
    • Edge
    • Skintimate
  • Car care
    • Grand Prix
    • Tempo
  • Floors
    • Johnsons Brite
    • Glo-Coat
    • Taski

Environmental record

S.C. Johnson & Son is the maker of Glade PlugIns, an air freshener. They recently defended the online rumors that have swept the Internet saying that the air fresheners have caused house fires. S.C. Johnson & Son responded to these claims by saying they provide customers with safe products that meet safety requirements. However, the company said that they will continue to investigate the allegations.[1]

S.C. Johnson & Son's Windex now has a Greenlist label on it. The Greenlist process is a classification system that evaluates raw materials on human and environmental health. The Greenlist logo is present to help customers identify which products are environmentally safe and deliver excellence. The Greenlist label is present in many S.C. Johnson & Son products. Although this is generally a positive addition to the traditional Windex bottle, the company could put the Greenlist logo on any of their products, no matter the ingredients, because they own the Greenlist label. This could lead to false representation of products ingredients.[2] By using Greenlist, S.C. Johnson eliminated 1.8 million pounds of volatile organic compounds from Windex, and four million pounds of polyvinylidene chloride from Saran Wrap.[3]




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