Haworth, Inc

Company History

The company began in 1948 as Modern Products. In 1954, the focus of Modern Products shifted toward office environments, in response to the development of modular office partitions. To reflect this new focus, the company changed its name to Modern Partitions[1]

In 1976 the company took its current name, Haworth, and the company began focusing exclusively on office furniture systems.

1948 >> Modern Products Driven by his dream to start a business, school teacher Gerrard Wendell (G.W.) Haworth borrows $10,000 of his parents' life savings to expand a woodworking operation in his family's garage. A skilled craftsman, he builds a variety of products, hoping to earn enough money to put his children through college. Modern Products is born.

In the early 1980s, when office seating was added to Haworth product offering being built at the Allegan, Michigan Haworth Plant, the company continued its movement toward providing complete workspace solutions. Later in the 1980s, Haworth pursued an aggressive expansion in North America, Europe, and Asia.

During the next two decades, Haworth developed several industry firsts — from the first mobile office system to panel-to-panel cabling systems. Haworth also earned awards for its business and design practices, such as environmental sustainability, leadership, community service, and member job satisfaction.

In 1996 competitor Steelcase was found at fault in a patent infringement suit brought by Haworth in 1985. Steelcase was ordered to pay $211.5 million in damages and interest.[2]

Haworth reached $1 billion in annual revenue in 1994, and passed the $2 billion mark in 2000. In January of that year, Haworth purchased SMED of Calgary.[3] In September, 2003, Haworth acquired Interface AR of Grand Rapids, Michigan.[4] The acquisitions of SMED and InterfaceAR further strengthened Haworth’s workspace solutions.

Haworth, Inc. is a privately held, family-owned corporation. Based on estimated sales, Haworth is the second largest manufacturer of office furniture behind

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