Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (Royal Philips Electronics Inc.), usually known as Philips, is one of the largest electronics companies in the world, founded and headquartered in the Netherlands. In 2006, its sales were €26.976 billion and it employed 128,615 people in more than 60 countries. Philips is organized in a number of sectors: Philips Consumer Lifestyle (formerly Philips Consumer Electronics and Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal Care), Philips Lighting and Philips Healthcare (formerly Philips Medical Systems).
The company was also instrumental in the revival of the Stirling engine.
On May 9, 1940, the Philips directors were informed about the German invasion of the Netherlands to take place on May 10. 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 hands.
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 company collaborated with the Nazis, 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. The only 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. In 1996, he was awarded the Yad Vashem reward by the Israeli ambassador for his actions. There is little Philips could have done to prevent the Germans from abusing their production facilities and forcing their employees to perform slave labor 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.
Philips introduced the compact audio cassette tape in 1963 and was wildly successful, though its attempt to set a standard for video cassette recorders, the V2000, was unsuccessful in the face of competition from the Betamax and especially VHS standards. It had introduced a video cassette recorder system in the early 1970s, the N1500 could record/play for about 30 minutes while the N1700 extended this to over 1 hour.
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 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. The move was completed in 2001. Initially, the company was housed in the Rembrandt tower, but in 2002 they moved again, this time to the Breitner tower. 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 Andover, Massachusetts, United States (since moving from Best, Netherlands in 2002).
On 2 August 2006, Philips completed an agreement to sell a controlling 80.1% stake in Philips Semiconductors to a consortium of private equity investors 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 years.
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 make.
On 21 August 2006, Bain Capital and Apax Partners announced that they had signed definitive commitments to join the expanded consortium headed by KKR that is to acquire the controlling stake in the Semiconductors Division.
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 N.V. (Royal Philips N.V.).
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.
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 club encompasses 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. Since the Football World Cup 1978, held in in Argentina, Philips has been an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup.
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 League. Between 1988 and 1993 Philips were also the major sponsors of The Balmain Tigers, an Australian rugby league team.
Outside of sports Philips sponsors the Philips Monsters of Rock festival, held in many countries all over the world.
Current operating divisions/activities include;
Philips Australia was founded in 1927 and has been involved in many activities over the years, esp manufacturing.
Today it is essentially a sales and support office.
As a result of Project LION (divestment of semiconductors), Australia's ranking rises from 43rd in the Philips world in terms of turnover to 18th.
In 1938 ,Philips India set up its first Indian lamp-manufacturing factory in Kolkata. After the Second World War in 1948, Philips started manufacturing radios in Kolkata. In 1959, a second radio factory is established near Pune.
As of 2008, Philips India has about 4,000 employees.
There several manufacturing plants in Mexico, some are:
Philips Lighting in:
Philips Consumer Electronics in:
Philios Domestic Appliances used to be manufactured in a large factory in Industrial Vallejo sector of Mexico City but was closed in 2003-2004.
In the past, Philips UK also included
Philips Lighting has its corporate office in Somerset, New Jersey
with manufacturing plants in:
distribution centers in:
Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal Care Company has its corporate office in Stamford, Connecticut. It has a manufacturing plant in Snoqualmie, Washington which makes Sonicare electric toothbrushes.
Philips 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 American luminaires (also known as ˜lighting fixtures"), controls and related products for a wide variety of applications, including solid state lighting. Philips has also been ranked as the most award winning company in the United States of America.
1963 - introduced the Compact cassette.
1978 - introduced the laserdisc player, using technology invented in the 1960s.
1979 - introduced the Video 2000-system: a technically superior design, but a commercial failure.
1991 - introduced the CD-i, the Compact Disc Interactive system which had many video-game console-type features, but was not a sales success .
1992 - launched the ill-fated Digital Compact Cassette format.
2001 - 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 Egberts. The Senseo has been available in the US since 2004.
2004 - Philips HomeLabs research center created the Mirror TV technology used in their MiraVision television line.
2008 - introduce flatscreen with WOW VX technology. (3D tv)
The company receives a royalty on every DVD manufactured.
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