Firmenich SA is a private Swiss company in the fragrance and flavor business. It is the largest privately owned company in the field and ranks number two worldwide. Firmenich has created perfumes for over 100 years and produced a number of well-known flavors.
Firmenich employs 10,000 people across 66 facilities. Major competitors include Givaudan, International Flavors and Fragrances and Symrise.
The company was founded as Chuit & Naef in 1895 in Geneva by chemist Philippe Chuit and businessman Martin Naef. Fred Firmenich joined in 1900 and later became the majority partner. The company was renamed Firmenich SA.
Originally a fragrance company, Firmenich branched into the flavor business by creating a raspberry substitute in 1938, followed by creations of citrus and strawberry flavor. Other synthetic flavors followed for use in processed foods and preserved foods.
In 1939, Firmenich Director of Research and Development Lavoslav Ruži?ka was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his work on polymethylenes and higher terpenes," "including the first chemical synthesis of male sex hormones."
On May 3, 2007, Firmenich announced that it would be acquiring the flavors division of Danisco, Noville, in a deal worth €450 million. The deal was expected to move Firmenich ahead of IFF as the second largest flavor company in the world.
Highest paying job titles at Firmenich include Director, Consumer Insights, Accounting Manager, and Business Development Director