Magazine Store

50 Most Trustworthy Companies of the Year 2018

Committed to improving quality of life around the world by tackling the customers’ most complex challenges: Danaher


Danaher is a global science and technology innovator committed to helping its customers solve complex challenges and improve quality of life around the world. A global network of more than 20 operating companies, the firm drives meaningful innovation in some of today’s most dynamic industries through its operating companies in five strategic platforms: Life Sciences, Diagnostics, Dental, Water Quality, and Product Identification. The engine at the heart of Danaher’s success is the Danaher Business System (DBS), a set of tools that enables continuous improvement around lean, growth and leadership. Through the ingenuity of its people, the power of DBS and the impact of its meaningful technologies, Danaher helps realize life’s potential in itself selves and for those it serves.

The Potential to Make a Difference

It started as an idea for a better way, but like all powerful ideas, it evolved into a passion. It’s why at Danaher, we view every challenge as an opportunity. And it’s the reason Danaher is on a constant quest to make things better—for its customers, the company, and the world. The company is a diverse team of people and operating companies, each with unique missions and challenges. Yet, it is united by its Shared Purpose, which directs how Danaher lives out every day to achieve its most ambitious goals.

Danaher’s Shared Purpose confirms its commitment to helping its customers achieve amazing things and the high standards by which Danaher measures its own success. The impact of the Shared Purpose goes beyond Danaher. It’s an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to something larger than ourselves.

“Helping Realize Life’s Potential is what we’re doing, every day, on a global scale. Think about our businesses and the impact we have: providing clean water, advancing scientific research and personal health, ensuring product safety. Every day, we’re helping improve quality of life around the world.”

How a swift-flowing river inspired a new kind of company and shaped its course!

Danaher takes its name from a tributary of the South Fork Flat Head River in western Montana. In the early 1980s, this was the setting for the fishing trip where Steven and Mitchell Rales envisioned a new kind of manufacturing company—one dedicated to continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. The root “Dana” is an ancient Celtic word meaning “swift flowing,” an apt descriptor for the nimble mindset and rapid flow of innovation that has defined Danaher for decades.

The company had its origins as a real estate investment trust (DMG, Inc., founded in 1969 and renamed Diversified Mortgage Investors, Inc. in 1978). But after adopting a new name in 1984, refocusing on manufacturing and being exposed to kaizen, the Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement, Danaher began to take shape.

Danaher was one of the first companies in North America to adopt kaizen. The practice led to the development of the Danaher Business System and continues to guide the culture, at the heart of the company’s five core values.

Evolution and growth

In its early days, Danaher consisted of a group of discrete, manufacturing businesses. In the mid-1990s, this fragmented structure was transformed into one built around strategic platforms, each with sustainable competitive advantages in sizeable global markets. Over the next decade, the company established leadership in the markets that define it today, beginning with water in 1998 and followed by product identification (2001), dental (2004), diagnostics (2006) and life sciences (2009).

In 2015, Danaher announced that many of its industrial businesses would be spun out to form an independent, publicly traded company, Fortive. The separation supports a clear focus on driving meaningful innovation in science and technology, and on continuing to build an unmatched portfolio strategically positioned for growth and impact.

The Roadmap Ahead

Today, Danaher is a global science and technology innovator committed to helping customers solve complex challenges and improving quality of life around the world. The company’s trusted brands hold unparalleled leadership positions in diagnostics, life sciences, dental and environmental and applied solutions. With more than 30 operating companies, its globally diverse team of 59,000 associates is united by a shared purpose: to help realize life’s potential.

"I see our future as a bright one. We have a terrific team of hard-working, dedicated associates around the world. We have exciting new products coming out every day providing customers with new and innovative solutions to their daily work."  Added Tom Joyce.

Danaher has never strayed from the clarity of its intention or the inspiration of that swift-flowing river. The company is adapt quickly to the changing flow of business and the evolution of technology, but its guiding principles—continuous improvement and customer satisfaction—remain rock solid.

Commend the Fearless Leader

Thomas P. Joyce, Jr., President, and CEO: Tom Joyce is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Danaher Corporation. Since September of 2014, Tom has led Danaher’s $17B global, multi-industry portfolio of businesses. With the help of Danaher’s 60,000 associates worldwide, he has strengthened Danaher’s focus as a leading science and technology company through the strategic acquisition of more than two dozen companies, and the spin-off of Fortive Corporation into an independent, publicly traded company.

Before joining Danaher, Tom spent seven years in the manufacturing practice group at Andersen Consulting. He earned a B.S. in Economics from the College of the Holy Cross, where he now sits on the Board of Trustees.

“Many companies talk about changing the world, but at Danaher, we live it every day.”