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Kimberly-Clark Corporation
Traded asNYSEKMB
S&P 500 Component
IndustryPersonal care
Founded1872; 147 years ago (1872)
Neenah, Wisconsin, U.S.
HeadquartersIrving, Texas, U.S. (since 1985)
Area served
Key people
RevenueIncrease US$18.5 billion (2018)[1]
Decrease US$3.299 billion (2017)[2]
Increase US$2.278 billion (2017)[2]
Total assetsIncrease US$15.151 billion (2017)[2]
Total equityIncrease US$629 million (2017)[2]
Number of employees
~42,000 (December 2017)[2]

Kimberly-Clark Corporation is an American multinational personal care corporation that produces mostly paper-based consumer products. Kimberly-Clark brand name products include Kleenex facial tissue, Kotex feminine hygiene products, Cottonelle, Scott and Andrex toilet paper, Wypall utility wipes, KimWipes scientific cleaning wipes, and Huggies disposable diapers and baby wipes.

Founded in Neenah, Wisconsin, in 1872 and based in Irving, Texas, since 1985,[3] it has approximately 42,000 employees.[4] The British subsidiary holds Royal Warrants from both Queen Elizabeth II and Charles, Prince of Wales. Kimberly-Clark is also listed among the Fortune 500. Subsidiaries under Kimberly-Clark include Kimberly-Clark Professional.[5]


Kimberly-Clark paper mill in Niagara, Wisconsin, 1942

Kimberly, Clark and Co. was founded in 1872 by John A. Kimberly, Havilah Babcock, Charles B. Clark, and Franklyn C. Shattuck in Neenah, Wisconsin, with $42,000 (equivalent to US$878,383 in 2018) of capital.[6] The group's first business was operating paper mills, which the collective expanded throughout the following decades. In 1888, the fledgling company faced a significant setback when its groundwood "Atlas" paper mill burned in 1888, however through an extensive effort by labor and management, within five months the mill was rebuilt and in production at a greater capacity. In that same year the company began rapid expansion, purchasing land in Kimberly for a new groundwood pulp plant designed by prominent paper mill architects D. H. & A. B. Tower.[7] The company would also contract the firm to expand its vast sulphite pulp complex in Appleton, Wisconsin, which allowed them to become the first firm west of Pennsylvania to adopt this improved manufacturing process.[8][9] The company developed cellu-cotton in 1914, a cotton substitute used by the U.S. Army as surgical cotton during World War I. Army nurses used cellu-cotton pads as disposable sanitary napkins,[10] and six years later the company introduced Kotex, the first disposable feminine hygiene product.[11] Kleenex, a disposable handkerchief, followed in 1924. Kimberly & Clark joined with The New York Times Company in 1926 to build a newsprint mill in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. Two years later, the company went public as Kimberly-Clark.[12]

The firm expanded internationally during the 1950s, opening plants in Mexico, West Germany, and the United Kingdom. It began operations in 17 more foreign locations in the 1960s.[citation needed] The company formed Midwest Express Airlines from its corporate flight department in 1984. Kimberly-Clark's headquarters moved from Neenah, Wisconsin to Irving, Texas the following year,[13] although its products are still produced in Neenah. Under the leadership of Darwin Smith as CEO from 1971 to 1991, the company went from being a business paper company to a consumer paper products company.

In 1991, Kimberly-Clark and The New York Times Company sold their jointly owned paper mill in Kapuskasing, Ontario. Kimberly-Clark entered a joint venture with Buenos Aires-based Descartables Argentinos S.A. to produce personal care products in Argentina in 1994[14] and also bought the feminine hygiene unit of VP-Schickedanz (Germany) for $123 million[15] and a 90% stake in Handan Comfort and Beauty Group (China).[16]

Kimberly-Clark bought Scott Paper in 1995 for $9.4 billion.[17] In 1997, Kimberly-Clark sold its 50% stake in Canada's Scott Paper to forest products company Kruger Inc.[18] and bought diaper operations in Spain and Portugal[19] and disposable surgical masks maker Tecnol Medical Products.[20] Augmenting its presence in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, in 1999 the company paid $365 million for the tissue business of Swiss-based Attisholz Holding.[21] Adding to its offerings of medical products, the company bought Ballard Medical Products in 1999 for $774 million[22] and examination glove maker Safeskin in 2000 for about $800 million.[23]

Also in 2000, the company bought virtually all of Taiwan's S-K Corporation; the move made Kimberly-Clark one of the largest manufacturers of packaged goods in Taiwan.[24] The company later purchased Taiwan Scott Paper Corporation for about $40 million and merged the two companies, forming Kimberly-Clark Taiwan.[25] In 2001, Kimberly-Clark bought Italian diaper maker, Linostar, and announced it was closing four Latin American manufacturing plants.[26]

In 2002, Kimberly-Clark purchased paper-packaging rival Amcor's stake in an Australian joint venture.[27] Adding to its global consumer tissue business, in 2003, Kimberly-Clark acquired the Polish tissue-maker Klucze.[28]

In early 2004, chairman and chief executive officer Thomas Falk began implementation of the global business plan the company detailed in July 2003. The firm combined its North American and European groups for personal care and consumer tissue under North Atlantic groups. Effective January 1, 2019, Thomas Falk will resign as Chief Executive Officer of the company and will continue as Executive Chairman of the Board.


As of 2017, Kimberly-Clark shares are mainly held by institutional investors (Vanguard group, BlackRock, State Street Corporation and others[29])

Relationship with Midwest Airlines[edit]

The origin of Midwest Airlines can be traced back to 1948, when the Kimberly-Clark Corporation opened its corporate flight department and began providing air transportation for company executives and engineers between the company's headquarters in Neenah, Wisconsin, and its paper mills.

In 1969, K-C Aviation was born from the company's air operations, and was dedicated to the maintenance of corporate aircraft. In 1982, K-C Aviation initiated shuttle flights for Kimberly-Clark employees between Appleton, Memphis, and Atlanta. From these experiences and considering the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, Kimberly-Clark and K-C Aviation decided to form a regularly scheduled passenger airline, and out of the initiative, Midwest Express Airlines was started on June 11, 1984.[30] The name of the airline was shortened to Midwest Airlines in 2003.

K-C Aviation divested itself from the airline in 1996. Two years later, Gulfstream Aerospace purchased K-C Aviation from Kimberly-Clark for $250 million, which included its operations at airports in Dallas, Appleton, and Westfield, Massachusetts.[31]

Environmental record[edit]


The Kimberly-Clark paper plant on the Everett, Washington, waterfront.

In 2005, Greenpeace launched the Kleercut campaign against Kimberly-Clark because the company had been linked to the logging of ancient boreal forests. The environmental organization charged that Kimberly-Clark was using more than 3 million tons of pulp a year from forests to produce tissue paper products, such as the Kleenex brand. Greenpeace led a large grassroots student activist campaign targeting Kimberly-Clark for sourcing 22% of its paper pulp from Canadian boreal forests containing 200-year-old trees.[32][33]

Greenpeace ended its campaign in August 2009, following the release of a new environmental policy by Kimberly-Clark. The two organizations announced that they were moving "away from conflict to a new collaborative relationship to further promote forest conservation, responsible forest management, and the use of recycled fiber for the manufacture of tissue products."[34]

Kimberly-Clark has a target to purchase 100% of wood fiber from suppliers that gain independent sustainability certification, with a preference for Forest Stewardship Council-certified fiber. Kimberly-Clark stated that by the end of 2010, it had achieved 98% of this target.[35]

Chemical pollution[edit]

By the 1980s, there was a dead zone for 12 kilometres downstream of the company's operations in Terrace Bay, Canada due to a daily flow of 115 million litres of effluent.[36] And "Jackfish Bay, the part of Lake Superior that receives water from the creek" was also affected.[36]

Initially, the company resisted calls to clean up its production methods, and "in 1986, Kimberly-Clark began a campaign that hinted broadly that forcing the company to clean up would make it shut down and lay off 900 workers"[36]

However, the company yielded eventually and by 1989 it spent $25 million (CAD) on a "lagoon to remove suspended solids and oxygen-destroying chemicals from its waste".[36] At the same time it also changed its bleaching process to stop producing dioxin and other poisons.[36]

Major U.S. consumer product lines[edit]

Personal care products[edit]


Depend is a brand name for adult diapers and other incontinence products worn by men and women.


GoodNites are absorbent disposable underwear marketed primarily for children and teens who experience bedwetting. The Huggies logo is not present on the packaging.


Huggies are disposable diapers for infants and toddlers.


Pull-Ups is a brand name of training pants for toddlers, marketed together with the Huggies brand of baby products and bearing the Huggies logo on the package.

Little Swimmers[edit]

Little Swimmers is a brand of disposable swim diaper, emblazoned with the Huggies logo.


Kotex is a feminine hygiene product line that includes pantiliners, pads, and tampons.


Poise is a brand of pads and liners for adult incontinence.

Tissues and wipes[edit]


Cottonelle is a brand name for bath products. Product forms include premium bath tissue and flushable moist wipe products.


Kleenex is the brand name of facial tissue paper. Many versions have been made, including with lotion, our softest ever!, and regular. In the '70s, Dr. Cody Sweet (color psychologist) was hired through Dan Edelman Public Relations to represent the newly styled and colored quadrant designed boxes of the product as national media spokesperson.


Scott is a brand name of paper napkins, paper towels, and bath tissue/wipes.


VIVA is a brand name of heavy-duty paper towels.[37]

Mexican consumer product lines[edit]

Includes most of the American products and these products:

Napkin Brands

Kimberly-Clark distributes a variety of napkin brands (Kleenex, Petalo, Suavel, Delsey, Lys).

Toilet paper brands
Suavel toilet paper pack

Kimberly-Clark distributes a variety of toilet paper brands (Kleenex, Petalo, Suavel, Delsey, Vogue, Lys).


A baby diaper brand name similar to Huggies. The brand is a combination of "kleen" (Kleenex) and "bebe" (Spanish for "baby").

Kimberly-Clark also has a variety of brands designed for professional markets and medical markets.

Major professional and global products[edit]


KimWipes are a type of cleaning tissue commonly used in laboratories. They are intended for applications where leaving lint or fibers on a surface would be undesirable, such as slides and pipettes. They are sometimes used to clean lenses as well, but use on optical lenses with special water- and solvent-based coatings may cause light blemishes, and the manufacturer recommends using a wipe specifically designed for use with coated lenses. KimWipes are composed of virgin wood pulp from certified forests, with little chemical additives.


DryNites are a version of GoodNites sold in Europe and Australasia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kimberly-Clark Company profile". Craft. 4 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Kimberly-Clark Corporation 2017 Annual Report (Form 10-K)". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. January 2018.
  3. ^ "Form 4." Kimberly-Clark. Retrieved on November 17, 2012. "351 PHELPS DRIVE. IRVING, Texas 75038"
  4. ^ "Kimberly-Clark". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  5. ^ "Kimberly-Clark Health Care". Archived from the original on 7 August 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  6. ^ "Historical Journey: An Interactive Timeline". Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  7. ^ Four Men and a Machine: Commemorating the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Kimberly-Clark Corporation. 1947. p. 12. OCLC 123453168.
  8. ^ "Manufacturing and Technical". Engineering News-record. XXIII: 528. May 31, 1890. Six Hennessey Boilers, made by the B. F. Hawkins Iron Works, of Springfield, Mass., are showing remarkable results at the Kimberly & Clark paper mills, Appleton, Wis...The entire plant was designed by D. H. & A. B. Tower, of Holyoke, Mass.
  9. ^ Heinrich, Thomas; Batchelor, Bob (2004). "Origins and Growth, 1872-1916". Kotex, Kleenex, Huggies: Kimberly-Clark and the Consumer Revolution in American Business. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press. pp. 20–22. ISBN 9780814209769.
  10. ^ Spector, Robert; Wicks, William W. (1997). "Kotex and Kleenex". Shared Values: A History of Kimberly-Clark. Lyme, CT: Greenwich Publishing Group. p. 55. ISBN 0944641172.
  11. ^ Spector, Robert; Wicks, William W. (1997). "Kotex and Kleenex". Shared Values: A History of Kimberly-Clark. Lyme, CT: Greenwich Publishing Group. p. 56. ISBN 0944641172.
  12. ^ Spector, Robert; Wicks, William W. (1997). "From One Kimberly to Another". Shared Values: A History of Kimberly-Clark. Lyme, CT: Greenwich Publishing Group. p. 79. ISBN 0944641172.
  13. ^ "Kimberly Clark Heritage" (PDF). p. 13. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  14. ^ "FORM 10-Q SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION". Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  15. ^ "FORM 10-Q SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION". Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  16. ^ "FORM 8-K SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  17. ^ "FORM 10-Q SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION". Archived from the original on 6 February 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  18. ^ "Kruger Agrees to Buy Kimberly-Clark Unit". Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  19. ^ "COMPANY BRIEFS". New York Times. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  20. ^ "Kimberly-Clark to Acquire Tecnol in Tax-Free Swap". Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  21. ^ "Kimberly-Clark Completes Acquisition of European Tissue Businesses of Attisholz Holding AG". Archived from the original on 5 February 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  22. ^ "Kimberly-Clark Completes Acquisition of Ballard Medical Products". Archived from the original on 5 February 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Kimberly-Clark Completes Acquisition of Safeskin Corporation". Archived from the original on 5 February 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  24. ^ "Kimberly-Clark Completes Acquisition of S-K Corporation of Taiwan". Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  25. ^ "Kimberly-Clark Corporation Completes Integration of S-K Corporation and Taiwan Scott Paper Company". Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  26. ^ "Kimberly-Clark Corporation". Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  27. ^ "Kimberly-Clark Completes Acquisition of K-C Australia". Archived from the original on 22 May 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  28. ^ "Kimberly-Clark Acquires Polish Tissue Business From International Paper". Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  29. ^ "Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB) Ownership Summary". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  30. ^ Spector, Robert. Shared Values A History of Kimberly-Clark. Greenwich Publishing Group, Inc, 1997, p. 122
  31. ^ "Gulfstream buys air services firm". Rome News-Tribune. (Georgia). Bloomberg. July 26, 1998. p. 2E.
  32. ^ "Greenpeace's new leader talks up need for a green grassroots". Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  33. ^ Schwartz, Ariel. "Exclusive: How Kimberly-Clark Ditched its Forest-Destroying Reputation and Embraced Greenpeace". Fast Company. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  34. ^ "Kimberly-Clark and Greenpeace agree to historic measures to protect forests". Greenpeace. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  35. ^ "Our Fiber Procurement Policy". Kimberly-Clark. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  36. ^ a b c d e Tom Spears (March 11, 1989). "The Dirty Dozen". The Toronto Star. p. D1 and D5.
  37. ^

External links[edit]