ITT Corporation

History of ITT

Nearly a Century of Value-Creating Transformation



The story of ITT begins with a historic call — for its founders to develop phones. The original International Telephone & Telegraph was created in 1920 by two brothers named Sosthenes and Hernand Behn who set out to build the first worldwide system of interconnected telephone lines. The company had a small beginning as the Puerto Rico Telephone Company but grew quickly through strategic acquisitions and the purchase of telephony patents. The result was the creation of a major international provider of telephone switching equipment and telecommunications services.


The next chapter for ITT can best be described as the conglomerate years. From 1960 to 1977, ITT acquired more than 350 companies and had a portfolio that included well-known businesses such as Sheraton hotels, Avis Rent-a-Car, Hartford Insurance and Continental Baking, the maker of Wonder Bread. During that time, ITT grew from a medium-sized business with $760 million in sales to a global corporation with $17 billion in sales.

Following the conglomerate years, ITT began restructuring through strategic divestitures and acquisitions to organize the company into more manageable segments. It culminated in 1995 when ITT split into three separate, independent companies: ITT Corporation, which was focused on the hotel and gaming businesses, ITT Hartford which became a stand-alone insurance operation, and ITT Industries, which started as a collection of manufacturing companies.

One decade later, ITT Corporation had been acquired, ITT Hartford had changed its name, and ITT Industries continued its transformation. ITT Industries, which changed its name back to ITT Corporation in 2006, played an important role in vital markets, including water and fluids management, global defense and security, and motion and flow control.


Throughout each chapter in its history, ITT has been known for transformative strategies that create value for shareowners, and in 2011 a new chapter began when ITT Corporation separated into three independent publicly traded companies and spun off its water and defense related businesses.

ITT Corporation emerged as a global multi-industrial manufacturer of highly engineered critical components and customized technology solutions for the energy, transportation and industrial markets. With the transformation, ITT was well-positioned for growth and the company has continued to create significant value for shareowners through its global capabilities and world-class people who are committed to operational excellence, innovation and premier customer service.

In 2016, ITT Corporation implemented a corporate reorganization that created a new holding company, ITT Inc., as its publicly traded parent company. As a result, all outstanding shares of ITT Corporation common stock automatically converted on a share-for-share basis into ITT Inc. common stock. ITT Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol ITT.
The ITT Journey
View the ITT History Video

View the ITT History Video