ServiceMaster was founded in Chicago in 1929 as a moth-proofing company by Marion E. Wade, a former minor league baseball player. Wade, who operated out of his home, had a strong personal faith and desire to honor God in all he did. Translating this into the marketplace, he viewed each individual employee and customer as being worthy of dignity and respect.
Eventually, Wade’s vision shaped the company’s objectives: Honor God in All We Do; Help People Develop; Pursue Excellence; and Grow Profitably. In 2005, the board of directors ratified the first change to these company objectives in more than 30 years: The objective "Excel with Customers" replaced "Pursue Excellence." The company’s objectives were refreshed in 2010 and renamed The ServiceMaster Commitment, which was expanded to include eight core values. Today, the company’s mission – to simplify and improve the quality of our customers’ lives – retains many of the same elements of Wade’s original aim to deliver exceptional service and quality.
ServiceMaster was incorporated in 1947 and expanded its offerings to include carpet cleaning in 1952, establishing one of America's first franchise businesses. In 1962, the company took its expertise to the health care arena and was a pioneer in third-party outsourcing, known at the time as management services. In 1980, the company began serving the education market and expanded its offerings to include a broader range of commercial services.
In the 1980s, the company experienced further expansion of the consumer segment of the business. During this time, ServiceMaster built on its original franchise business to form a network of high-quality branch- and franchise-based service companies – including Terminix, TruGreen and Merry Maids – and other category-leading commercial and residential service brands, including American Home Shield. In 2001, ServiceMaster divested its management services businesses to focus more on its residential and commercial business.
In July 2007, a group of equity sponsors led by Clayton, Dubilier and Rice, Inc. (CD&R) acquired ServiceMaster and took the company private. Also in 2007, the company moved its headquarters from Downers Grove, Ill., to Memphis, Tenn., to better enable the corporate staff to work side by side with all of its brand teams. Robert J. Gillette was appointed CEO in June 2013.
With a global network of more than 7,300 company-owned, franchise and licensed locations, Memphis-based ServiceMaster is one of the world’s largest residential and commercial service networks. The company’s high-profile brands are Terminix, TruGreen, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec. Through approximately 20,000 corporate associates and a franchise network that we estimate independently employs over 31,000 additional people, the ServiceMaster family of brands provided services and products to approximately 8 million customers during the last 12 months. Our market-leading brands provide a range of residential and commercial services including termite and pest control; lawn, tree and shrub care; home warranties and preventative maintenance contracts; furniture repair; home inspections; home cleaning; janitorial services; and disaster restoration. Go to www.servicemaster.com for more information about ServiceMaster or follow us at twitter.com/ServiceMaster or facebook.com/TheServiceMasterCo.