S. C. Johnson & Son

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Not to be confused with Johnson & Johnson.
S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
Industry Consumer goods
Founded 1886; 130 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
  • Windex
  • Mr. Muscle
  • Ziploc
  • Glade
  • Brise
  • Kiwi
  • Raid
  • OFF!
  • Kabikiller
  • Pledge
  • Scrubbing Bubbles
Revenue US$ 11.75 billion  (2013)
Owner Johnson Family
Number of employees
Parent Johnson Family Enterprises
Slogan A Family Company
Website scjohnson.com

S.C. Johnson & Son (commonly referred to as S. C. Johnson and S.C. Johnson, A Family Company in its commercials), previously known as S. C. Johnson Wax (and earlier, Johnson Wax), is an American privately held, global manufacturer of household cleaning supplies and other consumer chemicals based in Racine, Wisconsin.[1] 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, and Johnson Outdoors. In 2006, S. C. Johnson & Son employed approximately 12,000 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 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. Its addition, the Research 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 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 (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 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.[2] Dow Chemical purchased Texize in 1986, in which it received the Fantastik and Glass Plus brand. The company received approval for the deal in 1998 from the Federal Trade Commission by agreeing to sell the Glass Plus and Spray 'n Wash brands to competitor Reckitt Benckiser.

In 1999, the commercial cleaning products and systems division separated from Johnson Wax and became a stand-alone company called Johnson Wax Professional. In 2002, it acquired DiverseyLever to become JohnsonDiversey Inc., and in 2009, it became Diversey, Inc.[3]

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 2011, S. C. Johnson & Son was 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; In 2011, they were ranked #10.

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


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[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

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 is present to help customers identify which products are environmentally safe and deliver excellence.[clarification needed] The Greenlist label is present in many S.C. Johnson & Son products. This is generally a positive development, as it 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.[5]

On December 18, 2012, S.C. Johnson & Son began operation of 2 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.[6]


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.[7] 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 U.S. 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.[8]


  1. ^ "VISITING SC JOHNSON." S. C. Johnson & Son. Retrieved on June 26, 2010.
  2. ^ "Dow sells consumer unit". CNN Money. October 28, 1997. Retrieved December 13, 2010. 
  3. ^ "SC Johnson Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved March 11, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Johnson Merchandising: Johnson's Wash-'n'-Wax". TIME. June 26, 1964. 
  5. ^ http://www.cnnmoney.com Fortune 10 Green Giants 5/7/08
  6. ^ "SC Johnson Powers Up Wind Energy at Largest Mfg Facility - Press Room". scjohnson.com. 
  7. ^ "[1]." Can Loopholes Blow the Whistle on Whistleblowers?, Tax.com, Retrieved on December 6, 2010.
  8. ^ "[2]." Major Victory for Whistleblowers in Seventh Circuit Says Retaliation is a RICO Violation, Whistleblowers Protection Blog, Retrieved on December 20, 2011.

External links[edit]