Rowntree & Co Ltd, cocoa and chocolate manufacturers

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Rowntree & Co Ltd, cocoa and chocolate manufacturers

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1897-1969

History

The limited company of Rowntree and Co. was incorporated in March 1897. The assets of H.I. Rowntree and Co. (of which Joseph Rowntree was at that time the sole owner) were transferred to the new company. Papers concerning the valuation of the assets of H.I. Rowntree and Co and the formation of the limited company are listed under Rowntree/R/DH/SR/1-5.

To Joseph Rowntree, at the head of the company, personal contact with each of his employees and close supervision of every aspect of the business was a primary concern. However with the growth of the business a more formal structure became necessary. From the 1880s onwards the activities of the company became divided into several departments, connected with production or technical and administrative services. Following the creation of the limited company in 1897 the directors developed their own areas of responsibility; and T.H. Appleton, as Works Manger and later director, held a central role.

In 1923, when B.S. Rowntree took over as Chairman, Rowntree employees numbered nearly 7,000, including medical, welfare and pension staff and a large sales and distribution network. The company, increasing in size and complexity was outgrowing the existing management structure. Change had begun to take place, on an 'ad hoc' basis; a series of meetings to consider questions of labour supply in 1917 developed into the Directors' and Managers' Conference and Board committees had been set up to discuss wages and advertising and sales. A formal board committee system was established in 1920 [see Rowntree/R/B6], and several departments with strategic roles, such as Costing and Planning, were formed. Gradually, responsibility for accounting, administration of the workforce and planning etc, was transferred away from small units within production departments and concentrated in these strategic departments.

The growth of the business and Seebohm's interest in management pointed to the need for a formal structure for delegating, reporting, advising and communicating across the company. An Organisation Committee was formed, in 1922 reporting directly to the Chairman, to devise a new framework and oversee its implementation. The result was a 'divisional' structure developed by Oliver Sheldon (Organising Secretary) and the committee, within which the company operated until the 1960s.

In the new structure, departments were grouped into Functions which in turn formed Divisions, each one controlled by a Director. The five main divisions were Finance, Technical, Production, Labour and Distribution. (The Production and Labour Divisions did not have a 'Functional' level.) The Company Secretary, Solicitor, Registrar and Clerical, Business Research and Organisation Offices were later joined together within a Headquarters Division.

In 1931 the Board of Directors was turned into a General Board to perform the functions of a holding Board. A the same time the Articles of Association were altered so as to give power to create a York Board with responsibility for the York business. Members of the York board had the full powers of directors within the sphere of the York business. Most were Directors of the company and also served on the General Board, until the 1950s when membership of the York Board was extended to include managers. Non-executive responsibility for most subsidiary companies rested with the General Board, which was served by the York Headquarters staff. In theory the position of the York Board in relation to the General Board was therefore the same as the boards of associated companies, however in practice the York business was always dominant.

During the early late 1950s and 1960s more companies were acquired by Rowntree and production for the grocery market increased. Company growth and diversification again led to organisational change. In 1962 a 'divisional' structure was introduced above that of the parent and subsidiary companies bringing them under central management control. The new Divisions underwent several revisions during the succeeding two decades, but were based essentially on 'operating' or 'service' functions; each headed by a Divisional Board.

In 1969 Rowntree & Co merged with John Mackintosh & Sons to become Rowntree Mackintosh PLC.

Places

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

County Industries Ltd, munitions factory (1940-1943)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

1940-1943

Description of relationship

Related entity

Morrell, John Bowes, 1873-1963 (1873-1963)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Related entity

H. I. Rowntree & Co, cocoa and chocolate manufacturers (1862-1897)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

temporal

Type of relationship

H. I. Rowntree & Co, cocoa and chocolate manufacturers is the predecessor of Rowntree & Co Ltd, cocoa and chocolate manufacturers

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Related entity

Rowntree Mackintosh plc, confectionery manufacturers (1969-1988)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

temporal

Type of relationship

Rowntree Mackintosh plc, confectionery manufacturers is the successor of Rowntree & Co Ltd, cocoa and chocolate manufacturers

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Access points area

Occupations

Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2003); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Judy Burg, 'A Guide to the Rowntree and Mackintosh Company Archives 1862-1969' (York, 1997)

Maintenance notes

Created 07.10.15.
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