Hach Poudre River

The Danaher Story

How a swift-flowing river inspired a new kind of company and shaped our course.

Danaher takes its name from a tributary of the South Fork Flathead 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 have defined Danaher for decades.

Danaher was established in 1984 and initially consisted of a group of discrete, manufacturing businesses. Soon thereafter, it was one of the first companies in North America to adopt kaizen, the Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement. The practice led to the development of the Danaher Business System (DBS) and continues to guide our culture, at the heart of Danaher’s five Core Values.

Starting in the mid-1990s, Danaher organized its businesses around strategic platforms with sustainable competitive advantages in sizeable global markets. Over the next decade Danaher established leadership positions in the sectors that define it today, beginning with water in 1998 and followed by product identification (2001), diagnostics (2006) and life sciences (2009).

"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."  Rainer Blair, President and Chief Executive Officer

Today, Danaher is a science and technology innovator committed to helping our customers solve complex challenges and improving quality of life around the world. A global family of more than 20 operating companies, our groundbreaking businesses transform the fields of life sciences, diagnostics, water quality and product identification by:

  • Helping scientists around the world work at a molecular level to understand chronic disease and infection, develop and produce new therapies and test new drugs
  • Providing critical tools and software for clinicians to safeguard patient health, improve diagnostic confidence, and enhance patient care
  • Ensuring the freshness and safety of food, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods
  • Protecting our global water supply and promoting environmental stewardship