Johnson & Johnson was formed in 1885 in Brunswick, New Jersey, after two brothers, James Wood and Edward Mead Johnson saw a need to develop sterile supplies for surgical procedures. During that time, doctors operated without gloves, sterile equipment and used unclean cotton from textile mills to pack the wounds so the mortality rate for surgical patients was very high. One of the first products Johnson & Johnson developed was ready to use surgical dressings which to led to large reduction in surgical mortality rates. Johnson & Johnson continued developing and expanding their product line and their company.
In 1919, Johnson & Johnson began their first international expansion. The brothers first expanded into Canada and after an around the world trip in 1923 began to develop business in many more countries. They expanded into Australia in 1931, Sweden in 1956 and Japan in 1961 (Johnson & Johnson, 1997-2007). Over the next 60 years, Johnson & Johnson had established companies in over 50 countries.
During their international expansion, Johnson & Johnson also diversified their product line. They eventually organized their operations into three main divisions; pharmaceutical, medical devices and diagnostics, and consumer products (Answers Corporation, 2007). They became well known for the talcum powder, band-aids and the pain reliever, Tylenol. In 1932, Robert Wood Johnson II, known as General Johnson succeeded his uncle to take over running Johnson & Johnson. The General believed strongly in decentralization within the entire organization and all the divisions both in the United States and internationally were given authority to make their own decisions.
The General was also responsible for developing the Johnson & Johnson credo in 1943 and it is still in force today. The credo is defines the four primary responsibilities of the organization in their order of their importance. Johnson & Johnson's first...