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# 419 Herbert Johnson III $4.87B

Random fact: In 1998, siblings retraced grandfather's flight to Brazil six decades before.

Overview

Johnson is the chairman and chief executive of SC Johnson & Son, a maker of household cleaning products. The Racine, Washington-based company has 13,000 employees in more than 70 countries. It has annual revenue of $10 billion from the sale of branded consumer goods including Mr Muscle, Windex and Raid.

As of :
Last change -$28.5M ( -0.6%)
YTD change +$314M ( +6.9%)
Industry Consumer
Biggest asset SC Johnson
Citizenship United States
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Herbert Johnson III's net worth of $4.87B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
0%
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
0%
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
0%
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
0
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Johnson's fortune is derived from a 15 percent stake in SC Johnson & Son, a maker of household goods. The company has 13,000 employees in more than 70 countries and annual revenue of $10 billion, according to its website in July 2019.

Equal stakes in the company are attributed to Fisk and his siblings Helen, Curtis and Winnie. Their grandfather, Herbert Fisk Johnson, inherited a 60 percent stake in 1928. This valuation assumes that the shares were split equally among the four children after Fisk's parents, Samuel Curtis and Imogene, died in 2004 and 2018 respectively.

SC Johnson is valued based on the average enterprise value-to-sales multiples of four publicly traded peer companies: Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, Clorox and 3M.

Amy Winter, a spokesperson for SC Johnson, declined to comment on the net worth calculation.

Biography

Birthdate:
Family: Unmarried, No children
Education: Cornell University, Cornell University, Cornell University, Cornell University, Cornell University, Cornell University, Cornell University, Cornell University

Founded in 1886 by Samuel Curtis Johnson, the family company blossomed as Johnson Wax early in the 20th century. Its rise came into public view in 1939, when the company hired Frank Lloyd Wright to design its headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin, a building best known for its open interior spaces and the golf-tee-like columns that held up the floors above.

The company's early products were waxes and enamels, but in 1954, 26-year-old Sam Johnson, then head of product development, emerged from a company lab with the formula for Raid House and Garden Bug Killer, the first water-based insecticide that could be used safely on plants. Within a decade, it was one of the company's best-selling products, according to an Aug. 22, 1999 New York Times article.

Within a few years, the labs developed Pledge furniture polish and then Edge, the first gel-based shaving cream. Publicly, the company declared that innovation was its hallmark; privately, the mantra was that each Johnson heir would make a major contribution.

When Herbert Fisk Johnson Sr. died suddenly in 1928, he left no will. A struggle ensued for control of the Johnson empire, pitting brother against sister. Eventually, a 60-40 split gave control to Herbert Fisk Johnson Jr. After his father had a stroke in 1968, Sam Johnson, by then the company's president and chairman, took a year off to reflect. When he returned, he outlined a plan to begin setting up trusts for his children and grandchildren.

He diversified the company in the 1970s, buying makers of outdoor recreation equipment to form what has become Johnson Outdoors, the publicly traded company that Helen Johnson-Leipold heads, and starting the Johnson Bank, one of the largest banks in Wisconsin.

All four children and their parents went to Cornell, where the business school is called the Johnson Graduate School of Management. H. Fisk was the only sibling trained specifically to work at SC Johnson, though the other siblings later discovered their interest in the family enterprise. Fisk studied chemistry and earned an MBA and then a PhD in applied physics at Cornell before joining the company in 1987.

Siblings Curt and Helen had come back to the company by 1990. Curt assumed the industrial side. Helen, a tennis player and diver, got the recreational business. Fisk took the core consumer business and has been chairman of the company since 2000.

Milestones
  • 1886 Samuel C. Johnson purchases a flooring business in Racine, Wisconsin.
  • 1914 SC Johnson establishes its first international company, in Britain.
  • 1935 H.F. Johnson Jr. leads expedition to Brazil in search of wax-producing trees.
  • 1939 SC Johnson opens Frank Lloyd Wright-designed headquarters
  • 1956 Company begins launch of Raid, Glade and Off! brands.
  • 1976 Family publishes its book of principles, This We Believe.
  • 1998 Grandchildren of HF Johnson retrace his steps on 1935 Brazil flight.
  • 2004 Samuel Curtis Johnson Jr., husband of Imogene Powers, dies.