The 3M Company is an American multinational conglomerate corporation operating in the fields of industry, worker safety, health care, and consumer goods. The company produces over 60000 products under several world-renowned brands, including adhesives, abrasives, laminates, passive fire protection, personal protective equipment, window films, paint protection films, dental and orthodontic products, electrical & electronic connecting and insulating materials, medical products, car-care products,electronic circuits, healthcare software and optical films. It is based in Maplewood, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul.
3M headquarters in Maplewood, Minnesota
|Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (1902–2002)|
|Founded||June 13, 1902 (as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company)|
Two Harbors, Minnesota, U.S.
William A. McGonagle
(Chairman, President, & CEO)
|Revenue||US$32.765 billion (2018)|
|7.207 billion U.S. dollars (2018)|
|5.349 billion U.S. dollars (2018)|
|Total assets||36.500 billion U.S. dollars (2018)|
|Total equity||9.796 billion U.S. dollars (2018)|
Number of employees
3M made 32.8 billion dollars in total sales in 2018 and ranks number 95 in the Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. As of 2018[update], the company has approximately 93500 employees, and has operations in more than 70 countries.
Five businessmen founded the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company as a mining venture in Two Harbors, Minnesota, in 1902. The goal was to mine corundum, but this failed because the mine's mineral holdings were anorthosite, which had no commercial value. Co-founder John Dwan solicited funds in exchange for stock and Edgar Ober and Lucius Ordway took over the company in 1905. The company moved to Duluth and began researching and producing sandpaper products.William L. McKnight, later a key executive, joined the company in 1907, and A. G. Bush joined in 1909. 3M finally became financially stable in 1916 and was able to pay dividends.
Expansion and modern historyEdit
In 1951, DuPont started purchasing PFOA from then-Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company for use in the manufacturing of teflon, a product that brought DuPont a billion-dollar-a-year profit by the 1990s. DuPont referred to PFOA as C8. The original formula for Scotchgard, a water repellent applied to fabrics, was discovered accidentally in 1952 by 3M chemists Patsy Sherman and Samuel Smith. Sales began in 1956, and in 1973 the two chemists received a patent for the formula.
In the late 1950s, 3M produced the first asthma inhaler, but the company did not enter the pharmaceutical industry per se until the mid-1960s with the acquisition of Riker Laboratories, moving it from California to Minnesota. 3M retained the name Riker Laboratories for the subsidiary until at least 1985. In the mid-1990s, 3M Pharmaceuticals, as the division came to be called, produced the first CFC-free asthma inhaler in response to adoption of the Montreal Protocol by the United States. In the 1980s and 1990s, the company spent fifteen years developing a topical cream delivery technology which led in 1997 to health authority approval and marketing of a symptomatic treatment for genital herpes, Aldara. After four decades, 3M divested its pharmaceutical unit through three deals in 2006, netting more than 2 billion U.S. dollars . At the time, 3M Pharmaceuticals comprised about twenty percent of 3M's health care business and employed just over a thousand people.
3M Mincom was involved in some of the first digital audio recordings of the late 1970s to see commercial release when a prototype machine was brought to the Sound 80 studios in Minneapolis. After drawing on the experience of that prototype recorder, 3M later introduced in 1979 a commercially available digital audio recording system called the "3M Digital Audio Mastering System",
3M launched "Press 'n Peel" in stores in four cities in 1977, but results were disappointing. A year later 3M instead issued free samples directly to consumers in Boise, Idaho, with 94 percent of those who tried them indicating they would buy the product. The product was sold as "Post-its" in 1979 when the rollout introduction began, and was sold across the United States from April 6, 1980. The following year they were launched in Canada and Europe.
On September 8, 2008, 3M announced an agreement to acquire Meguiar's, a car-care products company that was family-owned for over a century.
On October 13, 2010, 3M completed acquisition of Arizant Inc. In December 2011, 3M completed the acquisition of the Winterthur Technology Group, a bonded abrasives company.
On January 3, 2012, it was announced that the Office and Consumer Products Division of Avery Dennison was being bought by 3M for 550 million dollars . The transaction was canceled by 3M in September 2012 amid antitrust concerns.
In March 2017, it was announced that 3M was purchasing Johnson Control International Plc's safety gear business, Scott Safety, for 2 billion dollars .
In 2017, 3M had net sales for the year of 31.657 billion dollars , up from 30.109 billion dollars the year before. In 2018, it was reported that the company would pay 850 million dollars to end the Minnesota water pollution case concerning perfluorochemicals.
On December 19, 2018, 3M announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the technology business of M*Modal, for a total enterprise value of 1.0 billion dollars .
3M's Pollution Prevention Pays (3P) program was established in 1975. The program initially focused on pollution reduction at the plant level and was expanded to promote recycling and reduce waste across all divisions in 1989. By the early 1990s, approximately 2500 3P projects decreased the company's total global pollutant generation by 50 percent and saved 3M $500–600 million by eliminating the production of waste requiring subsequent treatment.
In 1983, the Oakdale Dump in Oakdale, Minnesota, was listed as an EPA Superfund site after significant groundwater and soil contamination by VOCs and heavy metals was uncovered. The Oakdale Dump was a 3M dumping site utilized through the 1940s and 1950s.
During the 1990s and 2000s, 3M reduced releases of toxic pollutants by 99 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 72 percent. The company earned the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Award each year the honor was presented, as of 2012.
In 1999, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began investigating perfluorinated chemicals after receiving data on the global distribution and toxicity of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). 3M, the former primary producer of PFOS from the U.S., announced the phase-out of PFOS, perfluorooctanoic acid, and PFOS-related product production in May 2000. Perfluorinated compounds produced by 3M were used in non-stick cookware and stain-resistant fabrics. The Cottage Grove facility manufactured PFCs from the 1940s to 2002.
In response to PFC contamination of the Mississippi River and surrounding area, 3M stated the area will be "cleaned through a combination of groundwater pump-out wells and soil sediment excavation". The restoration plan was based on an analysis of the company property and surrounding lands. The on-site water treatment facility that handled the plant's post-production water was not capable of removing the PFCs, which were released into the nearby Mississippi River. The clean-up cost estimate was $50 to 56 million dollars , funded from a 147 million dollars environmental reserve set aside in 2006.
In late 2010, the state of Minnesota sued 3M for 5 billion dollars in punitive damages, claiming they released PFCs—classified a toxic chemical by the EPA—into local waterways. A settlement for 850 million dollars was reached in February 2018, although in 2019, 3M, along with the Chemours Company and DuPont, appeared before lawmakers to deny responsibility, with company Senior VP of Corporate Affairs Denise Rutherford arguing that the chemicals pose no human health threats at current levels and have no victims.
On March 20, 2020 New York City mayor Bill de Blasio requested 3 million N95 masks from federal Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. According to Jennifer Ehrlich, a 3M spokeswoman the masks are manufactured in Latin America, China and Europe, as well as the United States. Ehrlich said the "Manufacturing capacities of specific plants and products, as well as specific sales volume and customer information, are 3M confidential information that we do not publicly disclose."
The New York Post reported that 100 million masks are being produced monthly. As of March 20, 2020[update] annual US production is reported to be around 400 million, while global production has been doubled to 1.1 billion. In addition to increasing production, 3M announced that the health care sector would receive more of the masks than industrial and construction industry customers.
Peter Navarro said that China had decided to "nationalize effectively 3M, our company." 3M said most of the masks made at their Shanghai plant had been sold prior to the outbreak, but could not confirm when exports would resume. On March 21, 2020 The New York Post reported that shortages were due to shipments from China being halted after the Chinese government mandated that manufacturers reserve the masks for Chinese customers. China has not exported any N95 masks since February 19.
3M's general offices, corporate research laboratories, and some division laboratories in the US are in St. Paul, Minnesota. In the United States, 3M operates 80 manufacturing facilities in 29 states, and 125 manufacturing and converting facilities in 37 countries outside the US (in 2017).
In March 2016, 3M completed a 400000-square-foot (37000 m2) research-and-development building that cost 150 million dollars on its Maplewood campus. Seven hundred scientists from various divisions occupy the building. They were previously scattered across the campus. 3M hopes concentrating its research and development in this manner will improve collaboration. 3M received 9.6 million dollars in local tax increment financing and relief from state sales taxes in order to assist with development of the building.
Selected factory detail information:
- Cynthiana, Kentucky, USA factory producing Post-it Notes (672 SKU) and Scotch Tape (147 SKU). It has 539 employees and was established in 1969.
- Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, UK factory producing respirators for workers safety, using laser technology. It has 370 employees and recently there was an investment of 4.5 million pounds (7 million dollars ).
Board chairs have included: William L. McKnight (1949–1966), Bert S. Cross (1966–1970),Harry Heltzer (1970–1975), Raymond H. Herzog (1975–1980), Lewis W. Lehr (1980–1986), Allen F. Jacobson (1986–1991), Livio DeSimone (1991–2001),James McNerney (2001–2005),George W. Buckley (2005–2012), and Inge Thulin (2012–2018). Thulin continued to serve as executive chairman until current chair Michael F. Roman was appointed in 2019.
3M's CEOs have included: Cross (1966–1970), Heltzer (1970–1975), Herzog (1975–1979), Lehr (1979–1986), Jacobson (1986–1991), DeSimone (1991–2001), McNerney (2001–2005), Robert S. Morrison (2005, interim), Buckley (2005–2012), Thulin (2012–2018), and Roman (2018–present).
3M's presidents have included: Edgar B. Ober (1905–1929), McKnight (1929–1949), Richard P. Carlton (1949–1953),Herbert P. Buetow (1953–1963), Cross (1963–1966), Heltzer (1966–1970), and Herzog (1970–1975). In the late 1970s, the position was separated into roles for U.S. and international operations. The position overseeing domestic operations was first held by Lehr, followed by John Pitblado from 1979 to 1981, then Jacobson from 1984 to 1991. James A. Thwaits led international operations starting in 1979. Buckley and Thulin were president during 2005–2012, and 2012–2018, respectively.
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He had retired as chairman of the board of 3M in 1966, but had continued to serve on the board and received the title of director emeritus in 1973.
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When he became general manager in 1914, 3M was a $264000 company; by the time he was made president in 1929, annual revenues were 5.5 million dollars ; in 1943, 3M generated 47.2 million dollars , and by the time of McKnight's retirement as chairman in 1966, he had grown 3M into a 1.15 billion dollars operation.
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Nearly a third of that increase came after he rose from president to chairman and chief executive in October 1970.
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Mr. Herzog was elected chairman at a board meeting after the stockholder session, succeeding Harry Heltzer. Mr. Herzog will continue as president and chief executive officer.
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The Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company announced yesterday that Allen F. Jacobson, president of the concern's domestic operations, had been named chairman and chief executive, effective March 1.
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He served as chairman and CEO from 1991 to 2001.
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And yesterday, 3M named George W. Buckley, the low-profile leader of the Brunswick Corporation, as its new chairman and chief executive.
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Thulin has served as 3M's chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer since 2012.
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Bert S. Cross, who was chairman and chief executive of 3M from 1966 to 1970, and a board member thereafter, will not seek re‐election to the board where he serves as chairman of the finance committee.
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Lehr was chief executive of 3M from 1979 to 1986.
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At the May 1905 annual meeting, Over was named 3M's new president. Apart from one three-year break, Over served as president until 1929—the first eleven years without compensation.
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The patient approach may have originated with W. L. McKnight, a legendary CEO who joined the company in 1907 and became president in 1929.
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The award was named after Richard Carlton, president of 3M from 1949 to 1953.
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He was president of 3‐M from 1953 to 1963 and retired from its board in 1968.
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He was president of the company from 1970 until 1975, when he became chairman and chief executive.
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Mr. Jacobson... fills a post that has been vacant since the end of 1981, when John Pitblado retired.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 3M.|
- 3M Worldwide
- Business data for 3M:
- Google Local's satellite image of 3M head office campus
- 3M Global Company Profile from Transnationale.org
- Minnesota Department of Health on the Oakdale Dump Superfund Site
- The historical records of the 3M Company are available for research use at the Minnesota Historical Society
- This list was truncated from 10 items.