Johnson Controls

Maker of automotive and building control systems.

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5757 N. Green Bay Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53201
Employees: 130,000
CEO: Stephen Roell
Stock Symbol: JCI


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Johnson Controls is a global market leader in automotive systems, building management and power solutions.

The company's businesses include:

Automotive Systems: Global leader in interior systems for light vehicles including passenger cars and light trucks. Systems supplied include seating, overhead, door, instrument panels, storage, electronics. The division has more than 200 plants worldwide.

Power Solutions: World's largest manufacturer of lead acid automotive batteries and developer of advanced battery chemistries. About 80% of batteries sold through the automotive aftermarket and 20% are sold as original equipment. The company's joint venture, Johnson Controls-Saft, is the first company in the world to produce lithium-ion batteries for mass-production hybrid vehicles.

Building Efficiency: Leading full-line service provider of mechanical equipment as well as systems that controlheating, ventilating, air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, security and fire management in non-residential buildings. Services include complete mechanical and electrical maintenance. World leader in integrated facility management for Fortune 500 companies, managing more than one billion square feet worldwide.

In fiscal 2009, the company reported revenues of $28.5 billion and net loss of $338 million.

Johnson Controls has 130,000 employees worldwide. The automotive group is located in Michigan with the controls group in Milwaukee. The company has 2,500 employees in Milwaukee.


In 1883, Professor Warren Johnson received a patent for the first electric room thermostat. His invention launched the building control industry and was the impetus for a new company.

Johnson and a group of Milwaukee investors incorporated the Johnson Electric Service Company in 1885 to manufacture, install and service automatic temperature regulation systems for buildings. The company was renamed Johnson Controls in 1974.

Between 1885 and 1911, Professor Johnson delved into many other areas, including electric storage batteries, steam and gas powered automobiles, huge pneumatic tower clocks and wireless telegraph communication. But at his death in 1911, the company decided to focus solely on its temperature control business for nonresidential buildings.

In 1978, Johnson Controls acquired Globe-Union, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of automotive batteries for both the replacement and original equipment markets. Today, Johnson Controls is the largest producer of private-label lead-acid automotive batteries in North America, and is spreading its leadership to Asia and South America. The company also makes batteries for emergency power back-up and telecommunication applications.

Johnson Controls entered the automotive seating and plastics machinery industries in 1985 with the acquisition of Michigan-based Hoover Universal, Inc. At the time, the seating business primarily manufactured individual components, like frames, tracks or cushions, according to the automakers' specifications.


The company offers an attractive benefits package featuring health care coverage, tuition reimbursement, a 401(k) retirement plan and much more. Johnson Controls also operates a full-time educational institute where thousands of employees each year enhance their job skills and grow personally. 

Updated June 15, 2010