The secret formula for American household staple WD-40 has a new home after 65 years thanks to the help of Brink’s, a global leader in security-related services.
“We are 65-years-old going strong,” said the company’s chief executive, Garry Ridge. “We just moved out our secret formula yesterday to a new bank vault.”
WD-40, which stands for water displacement, 40th formula, was made in 1953 by chemists who were attempting to create a product to protect the Atlas missile from rust and corrosion.
“Back in 1953 there was a problem with condensation and corrosion in the umbilical cord of the Atlas space rocket and our company was Rocket Chemical Company,” he said. “And the chemists got together, and after 39 tries they got the formula right.”
According to Ridge, one of the things that makes the company special is being a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq for more than two decades. He attributes the company’s success to its people.
“I think our job is to create value for our shareholders through having an engaged workforce,” he said, “And if you had invested in WD-40 20 years ago, you would have had a compounded annual growth rate of total shareholder return of 50 percent over 20 years, of 20 percent over the last 10 years and 27 percent over the last five years.”
The company is based in San Diego, California and is sold in 176 countries around the world. Some of their other products include 3-In-One Oil, 2000 Flushes and Lava, a heavy-duty hand cleaner.