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Our History

We are committed to building a global science and technology company.

Origins

In the early 1980's, Steven and Mitchell Rales' vision of a manufacturing company, dedicated to continuous improvement and customer satisfaction, was conceived during a fishing trip on a tributary of the south fork of the Flat Head River in western Montana called the Danaher. The origin of the name "Danaher" goes back to the root "Dana," a Celtic word meaning "swift flowing" that dates to before 700 BC.

We trace our origins as a company back to 1969 when Danaher's predecessor, DMG, Inc., was organized as a real estate investment trust. In 1978, DMG changed its name to Diversified Mortgage Investors, Inc. and, in 1984, we adopted the name Danaher. 

An important element of our history has been the evolution of the Danaher Business System (DBS) which began with our Jacobs Vehicle Systems business in the late 1980’s. It was there that Danaher became one of the first North American companies to utilize the principles of kaizen, a Japanese word that means "continuous improvement."

DBS provides us with the tools and resources we need to shape strategy, focus execution and create value for both our customers and shareholders. DBS has truly become a global operating system for Danaher and is utilized by every associate in every function at all of Danaher's operating locations around the world.

 

Building a Strong Foundation

In the early 1990's, Danaher consisted of a group of discrete, cyclical businesses. Our corporate vision was to achieve above average growth along with reduced cyclicality.

In the mid 1990's, we moved from a fragmented business structure by creating strategic platforms, each with sustainable competitive advantages and leadership positions in multi-billion dollar, global markets. 

Since then our portfolio has evolved to become a more global, higher growth, more scientific and technological set of businesses. Today, Danaher is a global science and technology innovator committed to helping customers solve complex challenges and improving quality of life around the world. Our family of world class brands has an unparalleled leadership position in some of the most demanding and attractive industries, such as healthcare, environmental and communications. We are a globally diverse team of 66,000 associates, united by a common culture and operating system, the Danaher Business System, which serves as our ultimate competitive advantage. In 2013, we generated $19.1 billion in revenue from five reporting segments: Environmental, Test & Measurement, DentalLife Sciences & Diagnostics, and Industrial Technologies.

 

Looking Ahead

As we built the Danaher of today, we have not strayed from the clarity of our vision with origins on a swift flowing river. We continue to be centered around attractive end-markets that offer the best opportunities for the Danaher Business System to enhance our relative performance. The flow of the business is ever changing, but the guiding principles of DBS - continuous improvement and customer satisfaction - remain constant.  

The quality of our team and the power of DBS position us well to continue capturing the potential brought about by globalization and the remarkable advances in technology. DBS is providing the inventory of growth, leadership and cost tools as we build an outstanding team, a high-quality portfolio and a sustainable, global business model to achieve superior and sustainable financial results.

That's our vision of the future - the vision we're aggressively pursuing - as we build a global science and technology company with DBS.