Cabot is a global manufacturer of specialty chemicals, with more than 40 manufacturing plants worldwide. It is headquartered in Boston, in the Seaport District. The company has been in business for approximately 130 years.
The company produces carbon black, activated carbon, fumed silica, and a variety of other products. Carbon black accounts for at least 75% of their revenues, activated carbon and silica account for almost all the rest. These are commodity products, meaning they must product large volumes to earn profits. They are at a fundamental disadvantage to some of their competitors, which are far larger and better capitalized. Nevertheless, the company maintains relatively strong market positions.
Cabot owes its success to a commitment to being superior to their competitors in engineering and R&D. Unfortunately, the current management does not seem to value this nearly as much as their predecessors. They have made a series of mistakes in acquisitions and divestments, which have put their viability in some jeopardy.
Cabot is a very nice place to work in many ways, they pay well, and you can learn a great deal about business life there. But there is a constant state of tension there. People seem to get fired on a continuous basis. The management is very anxious to promote their values in their words but their actions don't often match their words.