Sherwin-Williams Celebrates 150 years

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America’s #1 Paint Company, #3 in the World driven by founder’s vision: “What is Worth Doing is Worth Doing Well”

The Sherwin-Williams Company began in 1866. Founder Henry Sherwin arrived in Cleveland and, within a few short years, invented the first pre-mix paint with an ironclad quality guarantee and a resealable can. These innovations revolutionized the way paint could be purchased, used, and more importantly, reused over time. Now 150 years later, Sherwin’s inspiring words continue to drive new product innovation with the launch of Paint Shield™ microbicidal paint, the first EPA-registered paint with the power to kill bacteria.

Then and Now

Henry Sherwin used his $2,000 life savings to buy a partnership in Truman Dunham, a distributor of pigments and painting supplies. In 1870, Sherwin organized a paint business with new partners, Edward Williams and A. T. Osborn. The new business became Sherwin-Williams & Company. 

Over its “colorful” history, Sherwin-Williams has coated and protected your home, workplace, hospital, roads, bridges, ships and iconic structures including the White House, Golden Gate Bridge, and the Hollywood sign.

“For years, we’ve known that our history – our shared heritage – makes this company unique, remarkable even” said Chris Connor, now Executive Chairman of Sherwin-Williams, after having served 16 years as only the 8th Chairman and CEO in the company’s history.

Our 150th anniversary theme comes directly from Henry Sherwin. In 1916, on the occasion of our Company’s Golden Jubilee, Sherwin said.

“What is Worth Doing is Worth Doing Well.”

“That thinking made Sherwin-Williams one of the most respected companies in the world – and that commitment continues to drive us forward,” said Connor.  “This is a wonderful way to look back and reflect on what has made us great, while appreciating how our core values continue to drive our business forward.”

According to new President and Chief Executive Officer John Morikis, only the 9thCEO in the company’s century and a half history, those core values are the key driver of long-term success.

“It’s all about Our People, Our Products, and Our Pride. We have a terrific group of dedicated associates that embody the Company’s values of commitment to our communities and reaffirm our Culture of Excellence and Guiding Values: Integrity, People, Service, Quality, Performance, Innovation, and Growth. Henry Sherwin’s words of 150 years ago continue to energize, engage, motivate, and inspire our 47,000 associates around the world in the 120 countries where we offer best in class products and customer service.”

“The Company’s consecutive years of record sales and earnings would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the talented men and women of Sherwin-Williams,” said Morikis. “I’m proud of our accomplishments over the last 150 years and I’m excited about the opportunities ahead. 2016 will be another year for us all to make history and I have great confidence our team will rise to the challenge.”

During the 150th year celebration, Executive Chairman Chris Connor was recognized for an outstanding legacy of leadership.

 “I feel remarkably blessed to have worked alongside you these past 33 years, the last 16 as your Chairman and CEO,” said Chris Connor.  “It has been the absolute joy as well as the purpose of my life and I couldn’t ask for better people to have shared this journey. Along the way we set aggressive goals and challenged ourselves to grow and build a global business, always with an eye towards the future. We made advancements in our technology and marketing platforms that fundamentally changed the coatings industry. Our innovations, fueled by a persistent focus on serving the customer, helped sustain a legacy of extraordinary growth year after year.”

“Since 1999, the company’s revenue increased more than 120% to a record $11 billion; we expanded our global footprint from 24 to 120 countries; and we added over 1,700 new stores, bringing our total to 4,100. Our stock price grew 1,100% to over $250. All of those accomplishments take a backseat to the real pride I have in the men and women of The Sherwin-Williams Company. None of these achievements would have been possible without your resiliency, determination, professionalism, and focus. We have built a reputation as one of the most respected companies in the world and I’m confident that our best days are still ahead.”