“Market Cap $59.02 B As of May 2014
At a Glance
- Industry: Household/Personal Care
- Founded: 1806
- Country: United States
- CEO: Ian Cook
- Website: www.colgatepalmolive.com
- Employees: 37,400
- Sales: $17.42 B
- Headquarters: New York, New York
Forbes Lists #423 Global 2000
- #544 in Sales
- #295 in Profit
- #1398 in Assets
- #158 in Market value
#64 World’s Most Valuable Brands #32 Innovative Companies (#37 in 2012)
Colgate-Palmolive Co. is a global consumer products company that is focused on Oral Care, Personal Care, Home Care and Pet Nutrition. The company sells its products around the world under brand names such as Colgate, Palmolive, Mennen, Speed Stick, Lady Speed Stick, Softsoap, Irish Spring, Protex, Sorriso, Kolynos, elmex, Tom’s of Maine, Sanex, Ajax, Axion, Fabuloso, Soupline and Suavitel, as well as Hill’s Science Diet and Hill’s Prescription Diet. The company operates its business in two product segments: Oral, Personal and Home Care; and Pet Nutrition. The Oral, Personal and Home Care segment is operated through four reportable operating segments: North America, Latin America, Europe/South Pacific and Greater Asia/Africa, all of which sell to a variety of retail and wholesale customers and distributors. Its Oral Care products include Colgate Total, Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief, Colgate Max Fresh, Colgate Optic White and Colgate Luminous White toothpastes, Colgate 360 manual toothbrushes and Colgate and Colgate Plax mouth rinses. Its Oral Care business also includes dental floss and pharmaceutical products for dentists and other oral health professionals. It manufactures and markets a wide array of products for Home Care, including Palmolive and Ajax dishwashing liquids, Fabuloso and Ajax household cleaners and Murphy’s Oil Soap. Its Personal Care products also include Palmolive, Softsoap and Sanex brand shower gels, Palmolive, Irish Spring and Protex bar soaps and Speed Stick, Lady Speed Stick and Sanex deodorants and antiperspirants. Its Personal Care business outside the U.S. includes Palmolive and Caprice shampoo and conditioners. The company, through its Hill’s Pet Nutrition segment, provides specialty pet nutrition products for dogs and cats. It markets pet foods primarily under two trademarks: Hill’s Science Diet and Hill’s Prescription Diet. Oral, Personal and Home Care products include toothpaste, toothbrushes and mouth rinses, bar and liquid hand soaps, shower gels, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants and antiperspirants, laundry and dishwashing detergents, fabric conditioners, household cleaners, bleaches and other similar items. Pet Nutrition products include specialty pet nutrition products manufactured and marketed by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. The company was founded by William Colgate in 1806 and is headquartered in New York, NY.“
In 1806, William Colgate, an English soap and candle maker, opened up a starch, soap and candle factory on Dutch Street in New York City under the name of “William Colgate & Company”. In 1833, he suffered a severe heart attack, stopping his business from selling. But after a couple of years of recovery he continued with his business. In the 1840s, the firm began selling individual cakes of soap in uniform weights. In 1857, William Colgate died and the company was reorganized as “Colgate & Company” under the management of Samuel Colgate, his son, who did not want to continue the business but thought it would be the right thing to do. In 1872, Colgate introduced Cashmere Bouquet, a perfumed soap. In 1873, the firm introduced its first toothpaste, an aromatic toothpaste sold in jars. His company sold the first toothpaste in a tube, Colgate Ribbon Dental Cream (invented by the dentist Washington Sheffield), in 1896. In 1896, Colgate hired Martin Ittner and under his direction founded one of the first applied research labs. By 1908 they initiated mass selling of toothpaste in tubes. His other son, James Boorman Colgate, was a primary trustee of Colgate University (formerly Madison University).
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the B.J. Johnson Company was making a soap entirely of palm oil and olive oil, the formula of which was developed by B.J. Johnson in 1898. The soap was popular enough to rename their company after it – “Palmolive”. Around the start of the 20th century Palmolive, which contained both palm and olive oils, was the world’s best-selling soap. Extensive advertising included the radio programs The Palmolive Hour (1927-1931) andPalmolive Beauty Box Theater (1934-1937). A Missouri-based soap manufacturer known as Peet Brothers merged with Palmolive to become Palmolive-Peet. In 1928, Palmolive-Peet bought the Colgate Company to create the Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Company. In 1953 “Peet” was dropped from the title, leaving only “Colgate-Palmolive Company”, the current name.
Colgate-Palmolive has long been in fierce competition with Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest soap and detergent maker. P&G introduced its Tide laundry detergent shortly after World War II, and thousands of consumers turned from Colgate’s soaps to the new product. Colgate lost its number one place in the toothpaste market when P&G started putting fluoride in its toothpaste. In the beginning of television, “Colgate-Palmolive” wished to compete with Procter & Gamble as a sponsor of soap operas. The company sponsored many shows in part, and fully sponsored the serial The Doctors.
George Henry Lesch was president, CEO, and chairman of the board of Colgate-Palmolive in the 1960s and 1970s, during that time transformed it into a modern company with major restructuring.
In 2005, Colgate sold the under-performing brands Fab, Dynamo, Arctic Power, ABC, Cold Power and Fresh Start, as well as the license of the Ajax brand for laundry detergents in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, to Phoenix Brands, LLC as part of their plan to focus on their higher margin oral, personal, and pet care products.
In 2006, Colgate-Palmolive announced the intended acquisition of Tom’s of Maine, a leading maker of natural toothpaste, for US $100 million. Tom’s of Maine was founded byTom Chappell in 1970.
Today, Colgate has numerous subsidiary organizations spanning 200 countries, but it is publicly listed in only two, the United States and India.
On October 25, 2012, the company announced it will cut more than 2,310 workers, or 6 percent of its workforce, by the end of 2016 in a push to make the consumer products company more efficient.”
*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org **Video published on YouTube by “Colgate-Palmolive Brasil“