Careers at Colgate-Palmolive

Mission

Colgate-Palmolive’s mission wants to be the best global consumer products company and to do business with integrity and respect for all people. The company aims to accelerate its growth by developing and delivering innovative new products to consumers and marketing them more efficiently.

Business Segments

Colgate Palmolive manages its business with the following product segments:

  • Oral Care - Makes products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, tooth whitener, mouth rinses and dental floss, and pharmaceutical products for dentists and other oral health professionals.
  • Personal Care - Manufactures products such as bar and liquid hand soaps, shower gels, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants and antiperspirants and shave products.
  • Household Surface and Fabric Care - Major products include Palmolive and Ajax dishwashing liquid and Fabuloso household cleansers.
  • Pet Nutrition - Supplies general pet care products including pet nutrition products.

History

English soap and candle maker William Colgate established the company ‘William Colgate and Company’ which manufactured soap, starch and candles. The company began selling soap cakes in 1840s. After the death of William Colgate in 1857, his son, Samuel Colgate, reorganized the company as ‘Colgate and Company’.  In 1873, the company introduced its first toothpaste which was sold in jars. The tube design was introduced in 1896 and the toothpaste was named ‘Colgate Ribbon Dental Cream’. And by 1908, mass sales of toothpastes had also been initiated.

In Wisconsin, a soap was being manufactured using only palm oil and olive oil by B.J. Johnson Company. The soap’s popularity led the company to rename themselves ‘Palmolive’. Peet Brothers, a soap manufacturer based in Missouri, merged with Palmolive to become Palmolive-Peet. Palmolive-Peet acquired the Colgate Company in 1928 to become Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Company. However, in 1953 "Peet" was dropped from the title and the company thus became known as only "Colgate-Palmolive Company" which is the current name.

In the post-WW2 era, Colgate-Palmolive faced a big competitor in the form of P&G (Procter & Gamble); losing its first place in the toothpaste market to the same company. However, in the 1960s and 1970s, the then-CEO George Lesch brought about major restructuring in the company.

In 2005, Colgate sold the underperforming brands Arctic Power, Cold Power, Dynamo, ABC, Fresh Start and Fab acting on their plan to focus on their higher margin oral, personal, and pet care products. In the next year, the company acquired Tom's of Maine for US $100 million, a big name in the industry of toothpaste manufacturers and known specially for making natural toothpaste. It was established by Tom Chappell in 1970.

Today, Colgate is a worldwide consumer products company which focuses on the production, distribution and provision of household, health care and personal products. It has a number of subsidiary organizations spread around the world in more than 200 countries.

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