S. C. Johnson & Son

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S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
Privately held company
Industry Consumer goods
Founded 1886; 132 years ago (1886)
Racine, Wisconsin, U.S.
Founder Samuel Curtis Johnson, Sr.
Headquarters 1525 Howe Street, Racine, Wisconsin, United States
Area served
Key people
Herbert Fisk Johnson III (Chairman & CEO)
  • Shout
  • Babyganics
  • Windex
  • Mr. Muscle
  • Ziploc
  • Glade
  • Brise
  • Kiwi
  • Raid
  • OFF!
  • Kabikiller
  • Pledge
  • Scrubbing Bubbles
  • Caldrea
  • Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day
  • Drano
  • Toilet Duck
  • Fantastik
  • Autan
  • Saran
Revenue US$ 11.75 billion (2013)
Owner Johnson Family
Number of employees
Website scjohnson.com

S. C. Johnson & Son (commonly referred to as S. C. Johnson, previously S. C. Johnson Wax and Johnson Wax) is an American multinational privately held manufacturer of household cleaning supplies and other consumer chemicals based in Racine, Wisconsin.[1] In 2006, S. C. Johnson & Son employed approximately 13,000 and had estimated sales of $7.5 billion.


The company began when Samuel Curtis Johnson, Sr. purchased the parquet flooring business of Racine Hardware Company in 1886[2] and renamed it Johnson's Prepared Paste Wax Company. Management has since passed down through five generations of the Johnson family; which makes them one of the oldest family-owned business in the U.S.[3] In 1939, the first part of the Johnson Wax Building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opened. Its addition, the Research Tower, opened in 1950.

From April 1935 until May 1950, the company was the sponsor for the Fibber McGee and Molly radio show, officially known as The Johnson Wax Program; each episode featured an appearance by pitchman Harlow Wilcox. To maximize show time, Wilcox was written into the script as a Johnson's-obsessed friend of the McGees (Fibber nicknamed him "Waxy") who would show up mid-episode and managed to get 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 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.[4] In 1999, the commercial cleaning products and systems division separated from Johnson Wax and became a stand-alone company called Johnson Wax Professional, now known as Diversey, Inc.[5]

Chairman and CEO since 2004, 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.

In 2015, S. C. Johnson acquired Deb Group, a global industrial company focused on hygiene and skin care systems for the industrial, commercial, healthcare and food markets, to expand its presence in industrial and institutional markets.[6]

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

Brand names[edit]

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

Car care[edit]

  • Grand Prix
  • Tempo

Floor care[edit]

Household cleaning and scent products[edit]

Household food storage[edit]

Household pest control[edit]

Shoe care[edit]

  • Kiwi
  • Bama
  • Salamander
  • Woly
  • Woly Sport
  • Grison
  • Class
  • Tana

Environmental record[edit]

S. C. Johnson & Son's Greenlist process is a classification system that evaluates the effects of raw materials on human health and the environment. The Greenlist logo represents an internal ratings system to help customers identify which products are environmentally safe. The Greenlist label is present in many S. C. Johnson & Son products. The Greenlist process has resulted in the elimination of 1.8 million pounds of volatile organic compounds from Windex, and four million pounds of polyvinylidene chloride from Saran Wrap.[9]

In 2011, S. C. Johnson & Son settled a lawsuit that alleged the company's Greenlist label misled consumers into believing the products were reviewed by a third party and given a seal of approval. The company agreed to an undisclosed sum and dropped the labeling of Greenlist on Windex.[10]

S. C. Johnson & Son is the main sponsor of the Serra das Almas Private Natural Heritage Reserve in the states of Ceará and Piauí, Brazil. The reserve protects an area of the caatinga biome, including wild specimens of the carnauba palm tree (Copernicia prunifera), the source of carnauba wax.[11]

On December 18, 2012, S. C. Johnson & Son began operation of two wind turbines at their largest manufacturing facility in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. The turbines, in addition to the gas reclamation system in place at a nearby landfill, are estimated to produce enough electricity to completely power the facility.[12]

In 2017 S. C. Johnson purchased the ecological product Ecover and Method brands on undisclosed terms.[7]


A RICO lawsuit by tax whistleblower Mike DeGuelle alleges that since 1997, S. C. Johnson & Son has taken advantage of audit errors and filed fraudulent tax returns, underpaying its taxes by millions of dollars.[13] H. Fisk Johnson ordered an inquiry into the allegations, and told Tax Analysts that he learned "other details of the decisions they (the tax department) made that I didn't like. I didn't like what I heard." On December 15, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Case No. 10-2172, ruled that DeGuelle had alleged a valid claim that the company's discharge of him was part of the tax fraud scheme.[14]

S. C. Johnson & Son was fined by Autorité de la concurrence in France in 2016 for price-fixing on personal hygiene products.[15]


  1. ^ "Visiting SC Johnson". S. C. Johnson & Son. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  2. ^ "S.C. Johnson family". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-10-01. 
  3. ^ "A family history at SC Johnson". Retrieved 2017-10-01. 
  4. ^ "Dow sells consumer unit". CNN Money. October 28, 1997. Retrieved December 13, 2010. 
  5. ^ "SC Johnson Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved April 18, 2018. 
  6. ^ "SC Johnson Signs Binding Offer to Acquire Deb Group | Press Room". www.scjohnson.com. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  7. ^ a b c Dye, Jessica (14 September 2017). "SC Johnson scoops up Method, Ecover cleaning-product brands". Financial Times. Retrieved 19 April 2018. 
  8. ^ "Johnson Merchandising: Johnson's Wash-'n'-Wax". TIME. June 26, 1964. 
  9. ^ "CNNMoney – Business, financial and personal finance news". 
  10. ^ "SC Johnson Settles Cases Involving Greenlist Labeling | Press Room". www.scjohnson.com. Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  11. ^ Rodrigo Castro, Reserva Natural Serra das Almas / CE (in Portuguese), Associação Caatinga, retrieved 2016-05-18 
  12. ^ "SC Johnson Powers Up Wind Energy at Largest Mfg Facility – Press Room". scjohnson.com. 
  13. ^ "Can Loopholes Blow the Whistle on Whistleblowers?". Tax.com. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  14. ^ "Major Victory for Whistleblowers in Seventh Circuit Says Retaliation is a RICO Violation". Whistleblowers Protection Blog. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  15. ^ "Huge price-fixing fine is upheld". The Connexion. 28 October 2016. Archived from the original on 9 February 2017. 

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