Our long history of strong performance comes from absolute focus on our core global businesses, combined with a successful worldwide financial strategy. This financial strategy is designed to increase gross profit margin and reduce costs in order to fund growth initiatives and generate greater profitability. Key Dates:
Company is founded by William Colgate in New York to make starch, soap, and candles. 1857:
After founder's death, company becomes known as Colgate & Company. 1873:
Toothpaste is first marketed.
Collapsible tubes for toothpaste are introduced.
B.J. Johnson Soap Company (later renamed Palmolive Company) introduces Palmolive soap. 1910:
Colgate moves from original location to Jersey City, New Jersey. 1926:
Palmolive merges with Peet Brothers, creating Palmolive-Peet Company. 1928:
Colgate and Palmolive-Peet merge, forming Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Company. 1947:
Fab detergent and Ajax cleanser are introduced.
Company changes its name to Colgate-Palmolive Company.
Corporate headquarters shifts back to New York.
Palmolive dishwashing liquid is introduced.
Sales top $1 billion.
Colgate toothpaste is reformulated with fluoride; Ultra Brite is introduced. 1976:
Hill's Pet Products is purchased.
The Softsoap brand of liquid soap is acquired.
The Mennen Company is acquired; Total toothpaste is introduced overseas. 1995:
Latin American firm Kolynos Oral Care is acquired; Colgate-Palmolive undergoes major restructuring. 1997:
Total toothpaste is launched in the United States; Colgate takes lead in domestic toothpaste market. 2004:
Company acquires European oral care firm GABA Holding AG; major restructuring is launched. Company History:
Colgate-Palmolive Company's growth from a small candle and soap manufacturer to one of the most powerful consumer products giants in the world is the result of aggressive acquisition of other companies, persistent attempts to overtake its major U.S. competition, and an early emphasis on building a global presence overseas where little competition existed. The company is organized around four core segments--oral care, personal care, home care, and pet nutrition--that market such well-known brands as Colgate toothpaste, Irish Spring soap, Softsoap liquid soap, Mennen deodorant, Palmolive and Ajax dishwashing liquid, Ajax cleanser, Murphy's oil soap, Fab laundry detergent, Soupline and Suavitel fabric softeners, and Hill's Science Diet and Hill's Prescription Diet pet foods. Colgate-Palmolive has operations in more than 200 countries and generates about 70 percent of its revenue outside the United States. Beginnings
In 1806, when the company was founded by 23-year-old William Colgate, it concentrated exclusively on selling starch, soap, and candles from its New York City-based factory and shop. Upon entering his second year of business, Colgate became partners with Francis Smith, and the company became Smith and Colgate, a name it kept until 1812 when Colgate purchased Smith's share of the company and offered a partnership to his brother, Bowles Colgate. Now called William Colgate and Company, the firm expanded its manufacturing operations to a Jersey City, New Jersey, factory in 1820; this factory produced Colgate's two major products, Windsor toilet soaps and Pearl starch. Upon its founder's death in 1857, the firm changed its name to Colgate & Company and was run by President Samuel Colgate until his death 40 years later. During his tenure several new products were developed, including perfumes, essences, and perfumed soap. The manufacture of starch was discontinued in 1866 after a fire destroyed the factory. In 1873 Colgate began selling toothpaste in a jar, followed 23 years later by the introduction of Colgate Ribbon Dental Cream, in the now familiar collapsible tube. By 1906 the company was also producing several varieties of laundry soap, toilet...