Dow Chemical Company

Company Name: Dow Chemical Company

Founder: Herbert Henry Dow

Industry: Manufacturing


The company initially marketed only potassium bromide and bleach in the early 1900s. It was able to gain an edge over the fierce competition it faced at that time by purchasing German-made bromides in the U.S. and exporting them to Europe, subsequently being able to market them at a much lower price than what the Germans charged.

Even in its early years, the company began to diversify its products lines and within two decades, Dow had become a one of the major producers of various substances that included agricultural chemicals.

In the 1930s, Dow began its manufacture of plastic resins — this line would evolve to become one of the company’s major enterprises.

In the 1940-41 interim, Dow established its first plant that produced magnesium extracted from seawater. This was an innovative breakthrough as previously magnesium was extracted from underwater brine.

The demand for magnesium grew exponentially in World War II as the element was a prime component in making aircraft parts. This empowered the company considerably. Eventually, in 1940, Dow began constructing a plant in Freeport, Texas. It would be the corporation’s largest site.

After the war, Dow commenced expansion drives; it established its first overseas subsidiary in Japan in 1952.

The company benefited during the Vietnam War when it became the sole supplier of Napalm, an incendiary weapon that became the focus of media attention as it caused severe human casualties. The company also supplied the U.S. military with Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant.

In the early days of August 1999, Dow concurred to acquire Union Carbide Corporation. The merger would make the new company the second biggest chemical company, trailing behind DuPont.

At present, the company is the biggest producer of plastics in the world. The merger with Union Carbide has also made it a more capable competitor in the petrochemical industry. It has operations in more than 175 companies and as of 2007, Dow has 46,000 employees and made $53.513 billion in revenue.


· David E. Kepler II - EVP, Chief Sustainability Officer, CIO, and Corporate Director Shared Services

· Geoffery E. Merszei – EVP and CFO

· Andrew N. Liveris – President, CEO, and Chairman

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