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Kimberly-Clark Corporation is an American multinational
personal care Personal care or toiletries are consumer products used in personal hygiene, personal grooming or for beautification. Products Personal care includes products as diverse as cleansing pads, colognes, cotton swabs, cotton pads, deodorant, eye ...
corporation that produces mostly paper-based consumer products. The company manufactures sanitary paper products and surgical & medical instruments. Kimberly-Clark brand name products include
Kleenex Kleenex is a brand name for a variety of paper-based products such as facial tissue, bathroom tissue, paper towels, tampons, and diapers. Often used informally as a genericized trademark for facial tissue in the United States and Canada, the ...
facial tissue,
Kotex Kotex is an American brand of menstrual hygiene products, which includes the Kotex maxi, thin and ultra thin pads, the Security tampons, and the Lightdays pantiliners. Most recently, the company has added U by Kotex to its line of menstru ...
feminine hygiene products,
Cottonelle Cottonelle is an American brand of toilet paper produced by Kimberly-Clark. The company has made several different toilet paper types such as regular, Cottonelle Double, (Two-ply) Cottonelle Ultra, Cottonelle Aloe & E, Cottonelle Kids, and Cottone ...
,
Scott Scott may refer to: Places Canada * Scott, Quebec, municipality in the Nouvelle-Beauce regional municipality in Quebec * Scott, Saskatchewan, a town in the Rural Municipality of Tramping Lake No. 380 * Rural Municipality of Scott No. 98, Saska ...
and Andrex
toilet paper Toilet paper (sometimes called toilet tissue or bathroom tissue) is a tissue paper product primarily used to clean the anus and surrounding anal region of feces after defecation, and to clean the perineal area and external genitalia of u ...
, Wypall utility wipes, KimWipes scientific cleaning wipes and
Huggies Huggies is an American company that sells disposable diapers and baby wipes that is marketed by Kimberly-Clark. Huggies were first test marketed in 1968, then introduced to the public in 1978 to replace the Kimbies brand. Products Huggies c ...
disposable A disposable (also called disposable product) is a product designed for a single use after which it is recycled or is disposed as solid waste. The term is also sometimes used for products that may last several months (e.g. disposable air filter ...
diaper A diaper /ˈdaɪpə(r)/ ( American and Canadian English) or a nappy (Australian English, British English, and Hiberno-English) is a type of underwear that allows the wearer to urinate or defecate without using a toilet, by absorbing or con ...
s and
baby wipes An infant or baby is the very young offspring of human beings. ''Infant'' (from the Latin word ''infans'', meaning 'unable to speak' or 'speechless') is a formal or specialised synonym for the common term ''baby''. The terms may also be used to ...
. Founded in
Neenah, Wisconsin Neenah () is a city in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, in the north central United States. It is situated on the banks of Lake Winnebago, Little Lake Butte des Morts, and the Fox River, approximately forty miles (60 km) southwest of Gree ...
, in 1872 and based in the Las Colinas section of
Irving, Texas Irving is a city in the U.S. state of Texas. Located in Dallas County, it is also an inner ring suburb of Dallas. The city of Irving is part of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. According to a 2019 estimate from the United States Census Bureau, ...
since 1985, the company operated its own
paper mill A paper mill is a factory devoted to making paper from vegetable fibres such as wood pulp, old rags, and other ingredients. Prior to the invention and adoption of the Fourdrinier machine and other types of paper machine that use an endless be ...
s around the world for decades, but closed the last of those in 2012. With recent annual revenues topping $18 billion per year, Kimberly-Clark is regularly listed among the
Fortune 500 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and published by '' Fortune'' magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States corporations by total revenue for their respective fiscal years. The list includes publicly held companies, along ...
. As of March 2020, the company had approximately 40,000 employees.


History

Kimberly, Clark and Co. was founded in 1872 by John A. Kimberly, Havilah Babcock, Charles B. Clark and Franklyn C. Shattuck in Neenah, Wisconsin, with $42,000 () of capital. The group's first business was operating
paper mill A paper mill is a factory devoted to making paper from vegetable fibres such as wood pulp, old rags, and other ingredients. Prior to the invention and adoption of the Fourdrinier machine and other types of paper machine that use an endless be ...
s, which the collective expanded throughout the following decades. In 1888, the fledgling company faced a significant setback when its groundwood "Atlas" paper mill burned. Through an extensive effort by labor and management, within five months the mill was rebuilt and in production at a greater capacity. In that same year the company began rapid expansion, purchasing land in a town then known as The Cedars for a new groundwood pulp plant designed by prominent paper mill architects D. H. & A. B. Tower. In 1889, the town was renamed Kimberly after John A. Kimberly. The company would also contract the firm to expand its vast sulphite pulp complex in
Appleton, Wisconsin Appleton ( mez, Ahkōnemeh) is a city in Outagamie, Calumet, and Winnebago counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. One of the Fox Cities, it is situated on the Fox River, southwest of Green Bay and north of Milwaukee. Appleton is the cou ...
, which allowed it to become the first firm west of Pennsylvania to adopt this improved manufacturing process. The company developed cellu-cotton in 1914, a
cotton Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus ''Gossypium'' in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose, and can contain minor per ...
substitute used by the U.S. Army as surgical cotton during World War I. Army nurses used cellu-cotton pads as disposable sanitary napkins, and six years later the company introduced
Kotex Kotex is an American brand of menstrual hygiene products, which includes the Kotex maxi, thin and ultra thin pads, the Security tampons, and the Lightdays pantiliners. Most recently, the company has added U by Kotex to its line of menstru ...
, the first disposable feminine hygiene product.
Kleenex Kleenex is a brand name for a variety of paper-based products such as facial tissue, bathroom tissue, paper towels, tampons, and diapers. Often used informally as a genericized trademark for facial tissue in the United States and Canada, the ...
, a disposable
handkerchief A handkerchief (; also called a hankie or, historically, a handkercher or a ) is a form of a kerchief or bandanna, typically a hemmed square of thin fabric which can be carried in the pocket or handbag for personal hygiene purposes such as ...
, followed in 1924. Kimberly & Clark joined with
The New York Times Company The New York Times Company is an American mass media company that publishes ''The New York Times''. Its headquarters are in Manhattan, New York City. History The company was founded by Henry Jarvis Raymond and George Jones in New York City. ...
in 1926 to build a newsprint mill in
Kapuskasing Kapuskasing is a town on the Kapuskasing River in the Cochrane District of Northern Ontario, Canada, approximately east of Hearst. The town was known as MacPherson until 1917, when the name was changed so as not to conflict with another rai ...
,
Ontario Ontario ( ; ) is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada.Ontario is located in the geographic eastern half of Canada, but it has historically and politically been considered to be part of Central Canada. Located in Central Can ...
, Canada. Two years later, the company went public as Kimberly-Clark. The firm expanded internationally during the 1950s, opening plants in Mexico,
West Germany West Germany is the colloquial term used to indicate the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; german: Bundesrepublik Deutschland , BRD) between its formation on 23 May 1949 and the German reunification through the accession of East Germany on 3 O ...
and the United Kingdom. It began operations in 17 more foreign locations in the 1960s. The company formed Midwest Express Airlines from its corporate flight department in 1984. Kimberly-Clark's headquarters moved from
Neenah, Wisconsin Neenah () is a city in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, in the north central United States. It is situated on the banks of Lake Winnebago, Little Lake Butte des Morts, and the Fox River, approximately forty miles (60 km) southwest of Gree ...
to Irving, Texas the following year, although its products are still produced in Neenah. Alongside
Cadbury Cadbury, formerly Cadbury's and Cadbury Schweppes, is a British multinational confectionery company fully owned by Mondelez International (originally Kraft Foods) since 2010. It is the second largest confectionery brand in the world after Ma ...
, Kimberly-Clark withdrew advertising support for '' The Lou Grant Show'' in 1982, due to pressure from various conservative caucuses campaigning against star
Ed Asner Eddie Asner (; November 15, 1929 – August 29, 2021) was an American actor and former president of the Screen Actors Guild. He is best remembered for portraying Lou Grant during the 1970s and early 1980s, on both '' The Mary Tyler Moore Show'' ...
. Under the leadership of Darwin Smith as CEO from 1971 to 1991, the company was transformed from a business paper company to a consumer paper products company. In 1991, Kimberly-Clark and
The New York Times Company The New York Times Company is an American mass media company that publishes ''The New York Times''. Its headquarters are in Manhattan, New York City. History The company was founded by Henry Jarvis Raymond and George Jones in New York City. ...
sold their jointly owned paper mill in
Kapuskasing Kapuskasing is a town on the Kapuskasing River in the Cochrane District of Northern Ontario, Canada, approximately east of Hearst. The town was known as MacPherson until 1917, when the name was changed so as not to conflict with another rai ...
,
Ontario Ontario ( ; ) is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada.Ontario is located in the geographic eastern half of Canada, but it has historically and politically been considered to be part of Central Canada. Located in Central Can ...
. Kimberly-Clark entered a joint venture with
Buenos Aires Buenos Aires ( or ; ), officially the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires ( es, link=no, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires), is the capital and primate city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the Río de la Plata, on South Am ...
-based Descartables Argentinos S.A. to produce personal care products in Argentina in 1994 and also bought the feminine hygiene unit of VP-Schickedanz (Germany) for $123 million and a 90% stake in Handan Comfort and Beauty Group (China). Kimberly-Clark bought Scott Paper in 1995 for $9.4 billion. In 1997, Kimberly-Clark sold its 50% stake in Canada's Scott Paper to forest products company Kruger Inc. and bought diaper operations in Spain and Portugal and disposable
surgical mask A surgical mask, also known by other names such as a medical face mask or procedure mask, is a personal protective equipment used by healthcare professionals that serves as a mechanical barrier that interferes with direct airflow in and out of re ...
s maker Tecnol Medical Products. Augmenting its presence in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, in 1999 the company paid $365 million for the tissue business of Swiss-based Attisholz Holding. Expanding its offerings of medical products, the company bought Ballard Medical Products in 1999 for $774 million and examination-glove maker Safeskin in 2000 for about $800 million. Also in 2000, the company bought virtually all of Taiwan's S-K Corporation; the move made Kimberly-Clark one of the largest manufacturers of packaged goods in Taiwan. The company later purchased Taiwan Scott Paper Corporation for about $40 million and merged the two companies, forming Kimberly-Clark Taiwan. In 2001, Kimberly-Clark bought Italian diaper maker Linostar and announced it was closing four Latin American manufacturing plants. In 2002, Kimberly-Clark purchased paper-packaging rival
Amcor Amcor plc is a global packaging company. It develops and produces flexible packaging, rigid containers, specialty cartons, closures and services for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, medical-device, home and personal-care, and other products. The ...
's stake in an Australian joint venture. In 2003, Kimberly-Clark added to its global consumer tissue business by acquiring the Polish tissue maker Klucze. In early 2004, chairman and chief executive officer Thomas Falk began implementation of a global business plan that the company has detailed in July 2003. The firm combined its North American and European groups for personal care and consumer tissue under North Atlantic groups. In 2019, CEO Thomas Falk resigned his position but continued on as the company's
chairman of the board The chairperson, also chairman, chairwoman or chair, is the presiding officer of an organized group such as a board, committee, or deliberative assembly. The person holding the office, who is typically elected or appointed by members of the gro ...
. COO Michael D. Hsu became CEO following Falk's retirement. In April 2020,
The Financial Times The ''Financial Times'' (''FT'') is a British daily newspaper printed in broadsheet and published digitally that focuses on business and economic current affairs. Based in London, England, the paper is owned by a Japanese holding company, Nikk ...
reported that panic-buying during the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identifie ...
led to a 13 percent increase in sales of Kimberley-Clark's consumer tissues in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the previous year. In April 2020, Kimberly Clark reported an eight percent decline in organic sales, its worst sales performance in at least a decade, according to the Wall Street Journal. In 2022, Kimberly Clark acquired majority stake in Thinx, a period underwear brand.


Ownership

Kimberly-Clark shares are mainly held by institutional investors ( Vanguard group,
BlackRock BlackRock, Inc. is an American multi-national investment company based in New York City. Founded in 1988, initially as a risk management and fixed income institutional asset manager, BlackRock is the world's largest asset manager, with tril ...
,
State Street Corporation State Street Corporation is an American financial services and bank holding company headquartered at One Lincoln Street in Boston with operations worldwide. It is the second-oldest continually operating United States bank; its predecessor, U ...
and others). Its subsidiaries include Kimberly-Clark Professional.


Relationship with Midwest Airlines

The origin of
Midwest Airlines Midwest Airlines (formerly Midwest Express) was a United States, U.S.-based airline headquartered in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Oak Creek, Wisconsin, that operated from Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport between 1984 and 2010. For a short t ...
can be traced back to 1948, when Kimberly-Clark opened its corporate flight department and began providing air transportation for company executives and engineers between the company's headquarters in Neenah and its paper mills. In 1969, K-C Aviation was born from the company's air operations, and was dedicated to the maintenance of corporate aircraft. In 1982, K-C Aviation initiated shuttle flights for Kimberly-Clark employees between Appleton, Memphis, and Atlanta. With this experience, and considering the
Airline Deregulation Act The Airline Deregulation Act is a 1978 United States federal law that deregulated the airline industry in the United States, removing federal control over such areas as fares, routes, and market entry of new airlines. The Civil Aeronautics Bo ...
of 1978, Kimberly-Clark and K-C Aviation formed a regularly scheduled passenger airline, Midwest Express Airlines, which was started on June 11, 1984. The name of the airline was shortened to Midwest Airlines in 2003. K-C Aviation divested itself from the airline in 1996. Two years later,
Gulfstream Aerospace Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation is an American aircraft company and a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics. Gulfstream designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and services business jet aircraft. Gulfstream has produced more than 2,000 ...
purchased K-C Aviation from Kimberly-Clark for $250 million, which included its operations at airports in Dallas, Appleton, and
Westfield, Massachusetts Westfield is a city in Hampden County, in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, United States. Westfield was first settled by Europeans in 1660. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population ...
.


Major U.S. consumer product lines


Diapers and incontinence products

*
Huggies Huggies is an American company that sells disposable diapers and baby wipes that is marketed by Kimberly-Clark. Huggies were first test marketed in 1968, then introduced to the public in 1978 to replace the Kimbies brand. Products Huggies c ...
:
diaper A diaper /ˈdaɪpə(r)/ ( American and Canadian English) or a nappy (Australian English, British English, and Hiberno-English) is a type of underwear that allows the wearer to urinate or defecate without using a toilet, by absorbing or con ...
s for infants and toddlers *Little Swimmers: swim diapers, marketed under the Huggies brand * Pull-Ups:
training pants Training pants are undergarments used by incontinent people, typically young children, as an aid for toilet training. They are intended to be worn in between the transition between wearing diapers but before they are ready to wear regular underpa ...
for toddlers undergoing
toilet training Toilet training (also potty training or toilet learning) is the process of training someone, particularly a toddler or infant, to use the toilet for urination and defecation. Attitudes toward training in recent history have fluctuated substantia ...
, marketed under the Huggies brand *
GoodNites Goodnites (formerly Pull-Ups Goodnites; known as DryNites in the United Kingdom and most markets outside of North America) are diapers designed for managing bedwetting. Goodnites are produced by Kimberly-Clark. The product has also been seen t ...
(DryNites outside North America): pull-on diapers for children, teens and young adults who experience
nocturnal enuresis Nocturnal enuresis, also informally called bedwetting, is involuntary urination while asleep after the age at which bladder control usually begins. Bedwetting in children and adults can result in emotional stress. Complications can include uri ...
(bedwetting), spun off from the Pull-Ups brand *Poise: Pads and liners for light to moderate
urinary incontinence Urinary incontinence (UI), also known as involuntary urination, is any uncontrolled leakage of urine. It is a common and distressing problem, which may have a large impact on quality of life. It has been identified as an important issue in geria ...
in adult women * Depend: diapers and briefs for adults


Feminine hygiene


Kotex

Kotex Kotex is an American brand of menstrual hygiene products, which includes the Kotex maxi, thin and ultra thin pads, the Security tampons, and the Lightdays pantiliners. Most recently, the company has added U by Kotex to its line of menstru ...
is a
feminine hygiene Feminine hygiene products are personal care products used during menstruation, vaginal discharge, and other bodily functions related to the vulva and vagina. Products that are used during menstruation may also be called menstrual hygiene produc ...
product line that includes
pantiliner A pantyliner (also pantiliner, panty liner or panty shield, vaginal cover) is an absorbent piece of material used for feminine hygiene. It is worn in the gusset of a woman's panties. Some uses include: absorbency for daily vaginal discharge, light ...
s,
pads Pads (also called leg guards) are a type of protective equipment used in a number of sports and serve to protect the legs from the impact of a hard ball, puck, or other object of play travelling at high speed which could otherwise cause injuries t ...
and
tampon A tampon is a menstrual product designed to absorb blood and vaginal secretions by insertion into the vagina during menstruation. Unlike a pad, it is placed internally, inside of the vaginal canal. Once inserted correctly, a tampon is held ...
s.


Tissues and wipes


Cottonelle

Cottonelle Cottonelle is an American brand of toilet paper produced by Kimberly-Clark. The company has made several different toilet paper types such as regular, Cottonelle Double, (Two-ply) Cottonelle Ultra, Cottonelle Aloe & E, Cottonelle Kids, and Cottone ...
is a brand name for bath products. Product forms include premium bath tissue and flushable moist wipe products. On October 13, 2020, the Cottonelle brand flushable wipes issued a recall because the products manufactured between February through September may contain Pluralibacter gergovaie.


Kleenex

Kleenex Kleenex is a brand name for a variety of paper-based products such as facial tissue, bathroom tissue, paper towels, tampons, and diapers. Often used informally as a genericized trademark for facial tissue in the United States and Canada, the ...
is a brand name of
facial tissue Facial tissue and paper handkerchief refers to a class of soft, absorbent, disposable papers that are suitable for use on the face. They are disposable alternatives for cloth handkerchiefs. The terms are commonly used to refer to the type of ...
paper. Many versions have been made, including "with lotion, our softest ever!" and "regular". In the 1970s, color psychologist Dr. Cody Sweet represented newly styled Kleenex boxes as a national media spokesperson.


Scott

Scott is a brand name of paper napkins,
paper towel A paper towel is an absorbent, disposable towel made from paper. In Britain, paper towels for kitchen use are also known as kitchen rolls, kitchen paper, or kitchen towels. For home use, paper towels are usually sold in a roll of perforated sh ...
s and bath tissue/wipes.


Viva

Viva is a brand name of heavy-duty paper towels.


Mexican consumer product lines

The Mexican market has most of the American products as well as these products: * Napkins: Kleenex, Petalo, Suavel, Delsey, Lys. * Toilet paper: Kleenex, Petalo, Suavel, Delsey, Vogue, Lys. * Diapers: KleenBebe, a brand similar to Huggies. The name is a combination of "kleen" (Kleenex) and "bebe" (Spanish for "baby"). * Professional and medical markets.


Major professional and global products


KimWipes

KimWipes are a type of cleaning tissue commonly used in
laboratories A laboratory (; ; colloquially lab) is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific or technological research, experiments, and measurement may be performed. Laboratory services are provided in a variety of settings: physicia ...
. They are intended for applications in which leaving lint or fibers on a surface would be undesirable, such as on slides and
pipette A pipette (sometimes spelled as pipett) is a laboratory tool commonly used in chemistry, biology and medicine to transport a measured volume of liquid, often as a media dispenser. Pipettes come in several designs for various purposes with diff ...
s. They are sometimes used to clean
lenses A lens is a transmissive optical device which focuses or disperses a light beam by means of refraction. A simple lens consists of a single piece of transparent material, while a compound lens consists of several simple lenses (''elements'' ...
, but use on optical lenses with special water- and solvent-based coatings may cause light blemishes, and the manufacturer recommends using a wipe specifically designed for use with coated lenses. KimWipes are composed of virgin wood pulp from certified forests, with few chemical additives, with utility beyond paper towels.


WypAll

WypAll is a brand name for cleaning towels, wipes, and cloths. They are used in industrial settings and laboratories.


DryNites

DryNites are a version of GoodNites sold in Europe and Australasia.


See also

* Kimberly Crest * Toilet paper in the United States


References


External links

* {{authority control Manufacturing companies established in 1872 American companies established in 1872 Companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange Pulp and paper companies of the United States Winnebago County, Wisconsin 1872 establishments in Wisconsin 1920s initial public offerings Multinational companies headquartered in the United States Personal care companies