Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (Royal Philips Electronics Inc.), most commonly known as
Philips, ( , ) is a Dutch electronics
Philips headquarters in
Philips is one of the largest electronics
companies in the world. In 2007, its
sales were €26.79 billion
company employs 123,800 people in more than 60 countries.
Philips is organized in a number of sectors: Philips Consumer
Lifestyle (formerly Philips
and Philips Domestic Appliances
and Personal Care
), Philips Lighting and Philips
Healthcare (formerly Philips Medical Systems).
company was founded in 1891 by Gerard
Philips, a maternal cousin of Karl
Marx, in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
Its first products were
light bulbs and other electro technical equipment. Its first
factory remains as a museum devoted to light sculpture
. In the 1920s, the company
started to manufacture other products, such as vacuum tubes
(also known worldwide as
'valves'), In 1927 they acquired the British electronic valve
and in 1932 the German
tube manufacturer Valvo
, both of which became
subsidiaries. In 1939 they introduced their electric razor
, the Philishave
(marketed in the USA using the
brand name).Also on 11 March 1927
Philips went on the air with a station called PCJ now known as
. It was broadcast to the Dutch East Indies. The host
of the first broadcast was Eddy Startz and from 1927 until he
retired in 1969 he hosted a show called Happy Station
. The only time the station went
off air was when the Nazis invaded Holland. At the end of the war
PCJ changed its name to Radio Netherlands and has continued
broadcasting to this day.
The company was also instrumental in the revival of the Stirling engine
World War II
On 9 May 1940, the Philips directors were informed about the German
Netherlands to take place the next day. They decided to leave the
country and flee to the United States, taking a large amount of the
company capital with them. Operating from the US as the North
American Philips Company, they managed to run the company
throughout the war. At the same time, the company itself was
moved to the Netherlands
Antilles (just on paper) to keep it out of German
It is also believed that Philips—both before and during the
war—supplied enormous amounts of electric equipment to the German
occupation forces, which has led some people to think that the
, like many other firms in their day.
However, there is no evidence to suggest that Philips itself or its
management ever sympathized with the Nazis or their ideologies.
Philips family member who did not leave the country, Frits Philips, saved the lives of 382 Jews by indicating to the Nazis that they were
indispensable for the production process at Philips, for which he
was awarded recognition as a "Righteous Among the Nations" by
Vashem in 1995.
There is little Philips could have
done to prevent the Germans from abusing their production
facilities and forcing their employees to perform slave labour
during the occupation. The production facility in Eindhoven was the
only Dutch industrial target that was deliberately bombed by the
allied forces during the war.
After the war the company was moved back to the Netherlands, with
their headquarters in Eindhoven. Many secret research facilities
had been locked and successfully hidden from the invaders, which
allowed the company to get up to speed again quickly after the war.
In 1950, Philips formed Philips
Philips introduced the audio Compact
tape in 1963 and was wildly successful. Compact
cassettes were initially used for dictation machines for office
journalists. As their sound quality improved, cassettes would also
be used to record sound and became the second mass media
to sell recorded music alongside
. Philips introduced the
first combination portable radio
cassette recorder which is marketed as the "radiorecorder" and
which is now better known as the boom box
Later the cassette was used in telephone answering machines
including a special
form of cassette where the tape was wound on an endless loop. The
C-cassette found itself also as the first mass storage device
for early personal computers
in the 1970s and
1980s. Philips would also reduce the cassette size for the
professional needs, first with the mini
and later the microcassette
which were predominant dictation
machines up to the advent of fully digital dictation
In 1972 Philips launched the world's first home video cassette recorder
, the N1500
with bulky video cassettes that could record 30 minutes or 45
minutes. Later one hour tapes were also offered. As competition
came from Sony
and the VHS
group of manufacturers, Philips
introduced the N1700 system which allowed double length recording
and for the first time would fit a 2 hour movie onto one video
cassette. This idea was soon copied by the Japanese makers whose
tapes were significantly cheaper. Philips made one last attempt at
a new standard for video recorders with the Video 2000
system with tapes that could be used
on both sides and had thus 8 hours of total recording time. As
Philips only sold its systems on the PAL standard and in Europe,
and the Japanese makers sold globally, the scale advantages of the
Japanese proved insurmountable and Philips withdrew the V2000
system and joined the VHS Coalition.
Philips had early developments of a laser
for selling movies but delayed its commercial launch for
fear of cannibalizing its video recorder sales. Later Philips would
join with Sony to launch the first commercial laser disk standard
and players, and again in 1982 with Sony to launch Compact Disc
. This evolved to the present day
DVD, which Philips launched with Sony in 1997.
In 1991, the company's name was changed from N.V. Philips
Gloeilampenfabrieken to Philips Electronics N.V. At the same time,
North American Philips was formally dissolved, and a new corporate
division was formed in the U.S. with the name Philips Electronics
North America Corp.
In 1997 the decision was made to move the headquarters from
Eindhoven to Amsterdam, along with the corporate name change to
Philips Electronics N.V. The
move was completed in 2001. Initially, the company was housed in the
Tower, but in 2002 they moved again, this time to the
In a sense,
the move to Amsterdam can be considered a return to the company's
roots, because Gerard Philips lived in Amsterdam when he came up
with the idea of building a light bulb factory
. He also conducted his first experiments in
the field of mass production of light bulbs there, together with
Jan Reesse. Philips Lighting, Philips Research, Philips
Semiconductors (spun off as NXP in September 2006) and Philips
Design, are still based in Eindhoven. Philips Healthcare is
headquartered in both Best, Netherlands (just
outside Eindhoven) and Andover, Massachusetts, United States (near Boston).
Sale of semiconductors
As a chip maker, Philips Semiconductors was among the Worldwide Top 20
Semiconductor Sales Leaders
In December 2005, Philips announced its intention to make the
Semiconductor Division into a separate legal entity
. This process of
"disentanglement" was completed on 1 October 2006.
On 2 August 2006, Philips completed an agreement to sell a
controlling 80.1% stake in Philips Semiconductors to a consortium
of private equity
consisting of Kohlberg
Kravis Roberts & Co.
(KKR), Silver Lake Partners
and AlpInvest Partners
. The sale completed a
process, which began December 2005, with its decision to create a
separate legal entity for Semiconductors and to pursue all
strategic options. Six weeks before, ahead of its online dialogue,
through a letter to 8,000 of Philips managers, it was announced
that they were speeding up the transformation of Semiconductors
into a stand-alone entity with majority ownership by a third party.
It was stated then that "this is much more than just a transaction:
it is probably the most significant milestone on a long journey of
change for Philips and the beginning of a new chapter for everyone
– especially those involved with Semiconductors".
In its more than 115 year history, this counts as a big step that
is definitely changing the profile of the company. Philips was one
of few companies that successfully made the transition from the
electrical world of the 19th century into the electronic age,
starting its semiconductor activity in 1953 and building it into a
global top 10 player in its industry. As such, Semiconductors was
at the heart of many innovations in Philips over the past 50
Agreeing to start a process that would ultimately lead to the
decision to sell the Semiconductor Division therefore was one of
the toughest decisions that the Board of Management ever had to
On 21 August 2006, Bain Capital
announced that they had
signed definitive commitments to join the expanded consortium
headed by KKR that is to acquire the controlling stake in the
On 1 September 2006, it was announced in Berlin that the name of
the new semiconductor company founded by Philips is NXP Semiconductors
Coinciding with the sale of the Semiconductor Division, Philips
also announced that they would drop the word 'Electronics' from the
company name, thus becoming simply Koninklijke Philips
(Royal Philips N.V.).
In 2004, Philips abandoned the slogan "Let's make things better" in
favour of a new one: "Sense and simplicity".
is a spin-off
from a division of Philips.
Origin, now part of Atos Origin, is a former division of
Its record division, Polygram
, was sold to
in 1998 to form Universal Music Group
Philips Intellectual Property and Standards , is the company's
division dealing with licensing, trademark
protection and patenting
currently holds about 55,000 patent rights, 33,000 trademark
registrations, and 49,000 design registrations.
Past and present CEO
Acquisitions, subsidiaries and spinouts
Companies acquired by Philips through the years include Amperex
, Mullard, VLSI
Healthcare Solutions Group, Marconi Medical Systems, ADAC Labs
, portions of Westinghouse
consumer electronics operations of Philco
. Philips abandoned the Sylvania
trademark which is now owned by SLI
International) except in Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand,
Puerto Rico and the USA where it is owned by the Osram
unit of Siemens
Formed in November 1999 as a equal joint venture between Philips
and Agilent Technologies
became a subsidiary
of Phillips Lighting in August 2005 and a fully-owned subsidiary in
December 2006., In 2000, Philips bought Optiva Corporation, the
maker of Sonicare
The company was renamed Philips Oral Healthcare and made a
subsidiary of Philips DAP. In 2006 Philips bought out the company
Lifeline Systems headquartered in
Framingham, Massachusetts. In August 2007 Philips acquired the company
Ximis, Inc. headquartered in El Paso, TX for their Medical Informatics Division.
October 2007, it purchased a Moore Microprocessor Patent (MPP)
Portfolio license from The TPL Group.
On Friday, 21st of December 2007 Philips and Respironics, Inc.
announced a definitive
merger agreement pursuant to which Philips will commence a tender
offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Respironics for
US$66 per share, or a total purchase price of approximately €3.6
billion (US$5.1 billion) to be paid in cash upon completion.
Polymer Vision , the maker of The Readius , is a spin out
from Philips Electronics.
, is a venture
within Philips Intellectual Property and Standards.
Philips also forayed into the pharmaceuticals market in a company
best known as Philips-Duphar (Dutch Pharmaceuticals).
Philips-Duphar made products for crop protection, veterinary
medicine and products for human use. Duphar was sold to Solvay
, now Solvay Pharmaceuticals. In
subsequent years divisions have been sold of, by Solvay, to other
companies (crop protection was sold to UniRoyal, now Chemtura
and the veterinary division
was sold to Fort Dodge, a division of Wyeth
Sports, sponsorships and naming rights
Traditionally Philips has a vested interest in sports, originally
as a means to provide a healthy form of recreation for its
employees. In 1913, in celebration of the Centenary of Dutch
independence from France, Philips founded a sports club called
Philips Sport Vereniging
(Philips Sports Club), or PSV, as
it is now known. The sports clubencompasses all kinds of sports,
but is currently most famous for its Premier League football team
and its swimming team. Philips owns the naming rights to Philips
Stadion, located in Eindhoven, which is home to Dutch football team PSV Eindhoven.
Abroad, Philips sponsors and has sponsored numerous sport clubs,
sport facilities, and events. Philips recently (November 2008)
extended its very successful F1 partnership with AT&T Williams
to include many more product groups.
Furthermore, Philips owns the naming rights to the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia and to the Philips Championship, the
premier basketball league in Australia,
traditionally known as the National Basketball
Between 1988 and 1993 Philips were also the
major sponsors of The Balmain Tigers, an Australian rugby league
Thailand Philips is a sponsor of PEA
Outside of sports Philips sponsors the Philips Monsters of Rock
, held in many countries all over the world.
Philips also used to sell major household appliances (whitegoods)
under the name Philips
. After selling the Major
Domestic Appliances division to Whirlpool Corporation
it changed via
bought a 53% stake in Philips' major appliance operations to form
Whirlpool International. Whirlpool bought Philips' remaining
interest in Whirlpool International in 1991.
is a member of the Hybrid
Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) consortium of broadcasting and
Internet industry companies (also including SES Astra, Humax, OpenTV and ANT Software) that is promoting and
establishing an open European standard (called HbbTV) for hybrid
set-top boxes for the reception of broadcast TV and broadband
multimedia applications with a single user interface.
Philips Australia was founded in 1927 and has been involved in many
activities over the years, esp manufacturing.
in Australia has its headquarters in North Ryde, Sydney New South
The company employs over 400 people
Regional sales and support offices are located in Melbourne,
Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
IT infrastructure Services are provided by IBM under the APAC
regional River contract and managed by Philips ITI.
Current operating sectors/activities include;
- Philips Healthcare (also responsible for New Zealand
- Philips Lighting (also responsible for New Zealand
- Philips Consumer Lifestyle (also responsible for New Zealand
- Philips Dictation Systems
- Philips Dynalite (Lighting Control systems, acquired in
Philips do Brasil was founded in 1924. In 1929, Philips started to
sell radio receivers. In the 1930s, Philips was making its light
bulbs and radio receivers in Brazil. From 1939 to 1945, World War II
forced Brazilian branch of Philips
to sell bicycles
. After the war, Philips had a great
industrial expansion in Brazil,and was among first groups to
establish in Manaus Free Zone.
In the 1970s, Philips Records
was a major player in Brazil recording industry. Nowadays, Philips
do Brasil is one of the largest foreign-owned companies in
China, People's Republic of
In early 2008 Philips Lighting, a division of Royal Philips
Electronics, opened a small engineering center to adapt the
company's products to vehicles in Asia.
Philips Hong Kong began operation in 1948. Philips Hong Kong houses
the global headquarter of Philips' Audio Business Unit. It also
house Philip's Asia Pacific
office and headquarters for its Design Division, Domestic
Appliances & Personal Care Products Division, Lighting Products
Division and Medical System Products Division.
Philips also has a Light Factory in Hong Kong, with 11 automatic
production lines installed which is capable of producing 200
million pieces a year. The Philips Light Factory was established in
1974, now certified with ISO9001:2000 & ISO14001, its product
portfolio ranges from Prefocus, Lensend to E10 miniature light
started operations in India at Kolkata (Calcutta) in 1930 under the name Philips
Electrical Co. (India) Pvt Ltd
comprising a staff of 75. It was a sales outlet for Philips lamps
imported from overseas.
In 1938 ,Philips India set up its first Indian lamp-manufacturing
factory in Kolkata. After the Second
in 1948, Philips started manufacturing radios in
Kolkata. In 1959, a second radio factory is
established near Pune.
- In 1957, the company is converted into a public limited
company, renamed "Philips India Ltd".
- In 1965 on 3 April, the millionth Philips radio is manufactured
- In 1970 a new consumer electronics factory is started in Pimpri
near Pune. (This factory was shut down in 2006.)
- In 1982, Philips brought colour television transmission to
India with the supply of four outdoor broadcast vans to DD National during the IX Asian Games.
1996, the Philips Software Centre was established in Bangalore (It is now called the Philips Innovation Campus).
- In 2008, Philips India entered a new product category, water
purifiers designed and made in India, and exported to other
As of 2008, Philips India has about 4,000 employees.
- The Philips Mexicana SA de CV corporate office is based in
There several manufacturing plants in Mexico, some are:
Philips Lighting in:
Philips Consumer Electronics in:
Philips Domestic Appliances used to be manufactured in a large
factory in Industrial Vallejo sector of Mexico City but was closed
UK has its headquarters in Guildford, Surrey.
company employs over 2500 people nationwide. Official Philips UK
- Philips Applied Technology, Redhill,
Surrey develops new products and sub-systems including
digital TV and communication technologies.
- Philips Healthcare Informatics, Belfast develops healthcare software products.
- Philips Business Communications, Cambridge offers voice and data communications products,
specialising in Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
applications, IP Telephony, data networking, voice processing,
command and control systems and cordless and mobile
- Philips Consumer Products, Guildford provides sales and
marketing for televisions, including High Definition televisions,
DVD recorders, hi-fi and portable audio, CD recorders, PC
peripherals, cordless telephones, home and kitchen appliances,
personal care (shavers, hair dryers, body beauty and oral hygiene ).
- Philips Dictation Systems, Colchester, Essex.
- Philips Lighting: sales from Guildford and
manufacture in Hamilton, Lanarkshire.
- Philips Healthcare, Reigate, Surrey. Sales and technical support for
X-ray, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, patient monitoring, magnetic
resonance, computed tomography, and resuscitation products.
- Philips Research Laboratories, Cambridge (Until 2008 based in Redhill, Surrey. Originally these were the Mullard Research
- Philips Semiconductors, Hazel Grove, Stockport, Greater Manchester and Southampton, Hampshire, both also
earlier part of Mullard. These now become part of NXP.
In the past, Philips UK also included
- Consumer product manufacturing in Croydon
- Philips Domestic Appliances: Electric kettles production at Hastings
- London Carriers, logistics and transport division.
- Mullard Equipment Limited (MEL) which produced products for the
- Pye Telecommunications Ltd of Cambridge
Limited of Malmesbury
Philips' American headquarters is Philips Electronics North America
Corporation, 3000 Minuteman Rd., Andover, Mass. For many years, the
North American headquarters was located in New York, but with the
company's footprint in healthcare ever increasing, it made sense to
co-locate its headquarters office with its largest business sector
Lighting has its corporate office in Somerset,
with manufacturing plants in:
distribution centers in:
Philips Healthcare is headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts.
American sales organization is based in Bothell,
There are also manufacturing facilities in:
Consumer Lifestyle has its corporate office in Stamford,
Connecticut.It has a manufacturing plant in Snoqualmie,
Washington which makes Sonicare
Research has a laboratory in Briarcliff Manor, NY.
In 2007, Philips has entered into a definitive merger agreement
with North American luminaires company Genlyte Group Incorporated,
which provides the company with a leading position in the North
(also known as
"), controls and
related products for a wide variety of applications, including
solid state lighting
company also acquired Respironics, which was a significant gain for
its healthcare sectore.
Philips has received many awards for its design, innovation and
business standards. It is considered by many as one of the world's
leading innovators in technology, particularly for healthcare,
lighting and consumer products.
Major consumer electronics products
- introduced the Philishave
two-headed rotary shaver, marketed in
the USA under the Norelco name.
- introduced the Compact cassette
- introduced the first domestic home video
tape recorder, the 405 line
1" tape reel
- introduced the laserdisc
player, using technology invented in the
- introduced the Video
-system: a technically superior design, but a commercial
- launched the Compact Disc
in partnership with Sony.
- participated in developing the MSX home
computer standard. This computer standard was mainly popular in
Japan and The Netherlands.
- introduced the CD-i
the Compact Disc Interactive system which had many video-game
console-type features, but was not a sales success .
- launched the ill-fated Digital Compact Cassette
- manufactured the Atari Jaguar
- launched the Super Audio CD
in partnership with
- successfully launched the Senseo
coffeemaker, first in the Netherlands and from
2002 onwards, in other countries across Europe. It produces coffee
by brewing from custom-made pads containing coffee grounds. The
original Senseo pads are produced by Douwe
. The Senseo has been available in the US since
- Philips HomeLabs research center created
the Mirror TV
technology used in their
MiraVision television line.
- introduced the Blu-ray Disc
in partnership with Sony
- introduced flatscreen with WOW VX
technology. (3D tv)
- introduced the Relationship Care range of
to the UK market.
The company receives a royalty on every DVD
- introduced the Philips Cinema 21:9 TV
widescreen mode for HDTVs with an LCD display using the aspect
- iSite PACS