As an eight-year-old boy, Jerry Perkins was already riding about the place on a motorcycle. But it wasn’t just motocross races that dirtied up his clothes. The boy once took his father’s chainsaw apart in order to repair its gas engine. Remarkably, the machine worked afterwards, Mr. Perkins remembers.
Oil, dirt, sometimes blood stains were frequent in his mother’s weekly laundry back in small-town Connecticut. Perhaps it’s fitting that Mr. Perkins is now the president of Henkel North America.
The German consumer conglomerate is busy making a splash on the U.S. market. Henkel last year introduced the laundry detergent Persil, a popular German brand, to the United States – and has had its first successes. “Persil is developing splendidly,” Mr. Perkins said.
That product introduction had one goal: to challenge global leader Procter & Gamble on its home turf.