He is the son of the late Samuel Curtis Johnson Jr. (1928-2004) and Imogene Powers Johnson, and the great-great-grandson of company founder Samuel Curtis Johnson Sr. Fisk, his three siblings and mother each have a net worth of $3 billion as of May 2015.
He has a BA in Chemistry and Physics, 1979; Master of Engineering, 1980; MS in Physics, 1982; MBA in Marketing and Finance, 1984; and PhD in Physics, 1986 — all from Cornell University and Cornell's S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management.
He joined the family Business in 1987 as a marketing associate and served in a number of roles. He was appointed chairman in 2000, and CEO in 2004.
On behalf of the company, he accepted a 2006 Ron Brown Award, a presidential award for corporate leadership.
His extended family is the named benefactor of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. He has supported Chicago's Shedd Aquarium. On 28 January 2017, he and the SC Johnson company donated $150 million to Cornell to name the SC Johnson College of Business, which comprises the previously-endowed Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics, and the School of Hotel Administration.