Emerson Electric Company () is a major multinational corporation headquartered in Ferguson, Missouri, United States. This Fortune 500 company provides engineering services for a wide range of industrial, commercial, and consumer markets.
Emerson was established in 1890 as Emerson Electric Manufacturing Co. by Civil War Union veteran John Wesley Emerson to manufacture electric motors using a patent owned by the Scottish-born brothers Charles and Alexander Meston. In 1892 it became the first to sell electric fans in the United States. It quickly expanded its product line to include electric sewing machines, electric dental drills, and power tools.
During World War II under the leadership of Stuart Symington, it became the world's largest manufacturer of airplane armament. In 1947-1950 Symington became the first Secretary of the Air Force, and a Democratic U.S. Senator from Missouri in 1953-1976.
In 1954 W.R. "Buck" Persons was named company president. Under his leadership, Emerson diversified its business portfolio by acquiring 36 companies. When he retired in 1973, the company had 82 plants, 31,000 employees and $800 million in sales.
Charles F. Knight served as CEO from 1973 to 2000, and was chairman from 1974 to 2004. His tenure was marked by development of a rigorous planning process, new product and technology development, acquisitions and joint ventures, and international growth.
David N. Farr has served as CEO since 2000 and as chairman since 2004.
On January 30, 2008, top executives from Emerson had meetings with the Costa Rican President and government authorities to open an operation for Latin America based in Costa Rica. They are planning to hire more than 500 engineers in a period of 4 years.
Emerson products, solutions and services go to market under eight business platforms:
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have identified Emerson as the 97th largest corporate producer of air pollution in the United States, down from its previous rank of 56th. Major pollutants indicated by the study include nickel compounds, manganese, diisocyanate, and lead.
28 September 2007 - It was announced that Emerson will acquire Motorola’s Embedded Communications Computing (ECC) business for US$ 350 million, expected to be completed by the end of 2007. Other acquisitions by Emerson include:
On October 2, 2006, Emerson, the company that makes the popular InSinkErator garbage disposals, filed suit in federal court against NBC regarding a scene that appeared in the pilot episode of the network's TV series Heroes. The scene depicted Claire Bennet reaching into an active garbage disposal to retrieve a ring, and severely injuring her hand in the process. Emerson's suit claims the scene "casts the disposer in an unsavory light, irreparably tarnishing the product" by suggesting that serious injuries will result "in the event consumers were to accidentally insert their hand into one."
Emerson asked for a ruling barring future broadcasts of the pilot, which is available on NBC's website and has already aired on NBC Universal-owned cable networks USA and Sci Fi. It also sought to block NBC from using any Emerson trademarks in the future. Emerson is an appliance market competitor with General Electric, the owner of NBC.
On February 23, 2007, the case against NBC was dropped. NBC Universal and Emerson Electric reached an agreement to settle the lawsuit outside of court.