Hewlett-Packard Company History

3000 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, California 94304

Telephone: (650) 857-1501
Toll Free: 800-752-0900
Fax: (650) 857-7299

Public Company
Incorporated: 1947
Employees: 86,200 (2001)
Sales: $45.2 billion (2001)
Stock Exchanges: New York Pacific Frankfurt London Paris Tokyo Z├╝rich
Ticker Symbols: HWP (2001); HPQ (2002)
NAIC: 334111 Electronic Computer Manufacturing; 334112 Computer Storage Device Manufacturing; 334119 Other Computer Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing; 333313 Office Machinery Manufacturing; 334413 Semiconductors & Related Device Manufacturing; 334613 Magnetic & Optical Recording Media Manufacturing; 334519 Other Measuring & Controlling Device Manufacturing; 334510 Electromedical & Electrotherapeutic Apparatus Manufacturing; 511210 Software Publishers; 541512 Computer Systems Design Services; 811212 Computer & Office Machine Repair & Maintenance

Company Perspectives:

The new HP is a leading technology solutions provider for consumers and businesses with market leadership in fault-tolerant servers, UNIX servers, Linux servers, Windows servers, storage solutions, management software, imaging and printing and PCs. Furthermore, 65,000 professionals worldwide lead our IT services team. Our $4 billion annual R&D investment fuels the invention of products, solutions and new technologies, so that we can better serve customers and enter new markets. We invent, engineer and deliver technology solutions that drive business value, create social value and improve the lives of our customers.

Key Dates:

William Hewlett and David Packard enter into a partnership; Hewlett-Packard (HP) is born.
HP operations begin in Palo Alto, California.
HP is incorporated.
HP introduces the HP524A high-speed counter.
HP shares are offered to the public.
HP acquires F.L. Moseley Company, manufacturer of graphic recorders.
HP establishes a marketing office in Geneva and a manufacturing facility in Boeblingen, West Germany.
HP opens factory in Loveland, Colorado.
HP purchases the Sanborn Company, a medical instruments manufacturer and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
HP develops its first computer.
David Packard is appointed deputy secretary of defense under U.S. President Nixon.
HP introduces a handheld scientific calculator, the HP-35; HP introduces the HP3000 microcomputer.
Bill Hewlett relinquishes his role as president of HP to John Young.
HP introduces its first personal computer, the HP-85.
Compaq Computer Corporation is founded.
Compaq initial public offering raises $67 million; securities are traded on NASDAQ.
HP's LaserJet printer makes its debut; Compaq computers are introduced in Europe; Compaq introduces the first Compaq desktop, the Compaq Deskpro.
Compaq securities begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Compaq ships its 500,000th personal computer and completes construction of Compaq Main Campus in Houston.
Compaq manufactures its one-millionth personal computer and opens manufacturing facility in Scotland.
HP's stock begins trading on the Tokyo stock exchange.
HP purchases Apollo Computer; Compaq purchases Wang facility in Stirling, Scotland; Compaq introduces Compaq Systempro and the first Compaq notebook PC, the Compaq LTE.
Compaq establishes East European sales organization and opens office in Berlin.
HP introduces the 95LX palmtop personal computer; Eckhard Pfeiffer is named CEO of Compaq; Compaq announces its first billion-dollar quarter; Compaq enters the Japanese marketplace and introduces its first modular PC, the Compaq Deskpro/M family.
Lewis E. Platt replaces Young as head of HP; Compaq introduces its first printer product, the Compaq Pagemarq; Compaq computer training center is established in China.
Packard retires and Platt is named chairman, president and CEO of HP; Compaq introduces Compaq DirectPlus and delivers first Pentium processor-based products; Compaq's PC Division is split into Desktop and Notebook PC divisions; Presario family is launched; Compaq's printer business is discontinued.
Compaq surpasses IBM as the number one seller of PCs worldwide; Compaq introduces first sub-notebook, Compaq Aero; Compaq opens a manufacturing facility in Brazil.
HP launches the Pavilion line of home computers. Compaq is awarded Europe's largest-ever PC contract with British Telecom; HP opens manufacturing facility in China; HP acquires Thomas-Conrad and NetWorth.
HP co-founder, David Packard dies on March 26, 1996; Compaq introduces its handheld PC, the PC companion, and its Armada family of value-priced, flexible notebooks.
HP acquires Verifone, Inc., maker of in-store terminals for verifying credit card transactions; Compaq announces the new Presario 2000 series and introduces the TFT 500, flat-panel monitor; Compaq acquires Microcom and Tandem Computer Inc.
Forbes magazine names Compaq its 1997 Company of the Year; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency names Compaq the "Green Lights Corporate Partner of the Year"; Compaq is also awarded Novell's Service Excellence Award; Compaq acquires Digital Equipment Corporation.
HP president Platt retires and Lucent-executive Carly Fiorina is appointed president and CEO.
Compaq acquires assets of Inacom and creates Custom Edge, Inc.; Compaq announces 10-year corporate alliance with The Walt Disney Company; Compaq unveils iPAQ Pocket PC.
HP co-founder Bill Hewlett dies on January 12, 2001; HP acquires application server specialist Bluestone Software; Compaq creates the AltaVista Company and acquires Shopping.com; Michael D. Capellas is appointed president and chief executive officer of Compaq; Compaq and Yahoo! announce a comprehensive global technology and marketing alliance; Compaq unveils "Evo" notebooks and workstations; Hewlett-Packard and Compaq announce their planned merger.
HP and Compaq merge on May 3, 2002; HPQ is unveiled as new stock ticker for combined company.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Arnst, Catherine, "Now, HP Stands for Hot Products," Business Week, June 14, 1993, p. 36.
  • Arnst, Catherine, et. al, "Compaq: How It Made Its Impressive Move Out of the Doldrums," Business Week, November 2, 1992, pp. 146+.
  • Bank, David, and Leslie Cauley, "Microsoft, Compaq Make Net-Access Bet," Wall Street Journal, June 16, 1998, pp. A3, A8.
  • Buell, Barbara, "Hewlett-Packard Rethinks Itself," Business Week, April 1, 1991.
  • Burrows, Peter, "Compaq Stretches for the Crown," Business Week, July 11, 1994, pp. 140-42.
  • ------, "Lew Platt's Fix-It Plan for Hewlett-Packard," Business Week, July 13, 1998, pp. 128-31.
  • ------, "The Printer King Invades Home PCs," Business Week, August 21, 1995, pp. 74-75.
  • ------, "Where Compaq's Kingdom Is Weak," Business Week, May 8, 1995, pp. 98, 102.
  • Clark, Don, and George Anders, "After Split, Outsider May Be Hired As Next CEO, Breaking Tradition," Wall Street Journal, March 3, 1999, pp. A3+.
  • "Compaq Computer Corporation," Hoover's Handbook of American Business 2002, Austin: Hoover's, Inc., 2001, pp. 398-399.
  • "Compaq's Compact," Management Today, May 1985.
  • Connor, Deni and Denise Dubie, "HP Shores Up Storage, Management Wares," Network World, Nov 5, 2001, p. 10+.
  • Depke, Deidre A., "A Comeback at Compaq?," Business Week, September 23, 1991.
  • Gannes, Stuart, "America's Fastest-Growing Companies," Fortune, May 23, 1988.
  • Heller, Robert, "The Compaq Comeback," Management Today, December 1994, pp. 66-70.
  • Goldgaber, Arthur, "The Teflon Tech Company: How Long Will Wall Street Give Hewlett-Packard the Benefit of the Doubt?," Financial World, July/August 1997, pp. 90-93.
  • Hamilton, David P., and Scott Thurm, "H-P to Spin Off Its Measurement Operations: Sharper Focus on Computing Will Emerge," Wall Street Journal, March 3, 1999, pp. A3+.
  • "Hewlett-Packard," Hoover's Handbook of American Business 2002, Austin: Hoover's, Inc., 2001, pp. 712-713.
  • Hof, Robert, "Hewlett-Packard Digs Deep for a Digital Future," Business Week, October 18, 1993, pp. 72-75.
  • ------, "Suddenly Hewlett-Packard Is Doing Everything Right," Business Week, March 23, 1992.
  • Hof, Robert, and Peter Burrows, "Hewlett-Packard Heads for the Home," Business Week, May 8, 1995, p. 102.
  • "HP Closes Compaq Merger," HP.com, posted May 3, 2002, http://www.hp.com.
  • "HP Fact Sheet," Palo Alto, Calif.: Hewlett-Packard Company, 1998.
  • Hutheesing, Nikhil, "HP's Giant ATM," Forbes, February 9, 1998, pp. 96+.
  • "HP to Change NYSE Trading Symbol from HWP to HPQ," HP.com, posted May 2, 2002, http://ww.thenew.hp.com.
  • Kirkpatrick, David, "Fast Times at Compaq," Fortune, April 1, 1996, pp. 120+.
  • ------, "The Revolution at Compaq Computer," Fortune, December 14, 1992, pp. 80+.
  • Klein, Alec, "As Cheap Printers Score, H-P Plays Catch-Up," Wall Street Journal, April 21, 1999, pp. B1+.
  • Kotkin, Joel, "The Hottest Entrepreneur in America Is ... the 'Smart Team' at Compaq Computer," Inc., February 1986.
  • Linden, Dana Wechsler, and Bruce Upbin, "Top Corporate Performance of 1995: 'Boy Scouts on a Rampage,'" Forbes, January 1, 1996, pp. 66+.
  • Loeb, Marshall, "Leadership Lost--and Regained," Fortune, April 17, 1995, pp. 217+.
  • Losee, Stephanie, "How Compaq Keeps the Magic Going," Fortune, February 21, 1994, pp. 90+.
  • McWilliams, Gary, "Compaq at the Crossroads," Business Week, July 22, 1996, pp. 70-72.
  • ------, "Compaq-Digital: Let the Slimming Begin," Business Week, June 22, 1998, p. 44.
  • ------, "Compaq: There's No End to Its Drive," Business Week, February 17, 1997, pp. 72, 74.
  • ------, "Mimicking Dell, Compaq to Sell Its PCs Directly," Wall Street Journal, November 11, 1998, pp. B1, B4.
  • McWilliams, Gary, et. al, "Power Play: How the Compaq-Digital Deal Will Reshape the Entire World of Computers," Business Week, February 9, 1998, pp. 90-94, 96-97.
  • Nee, Eric, "Compaq Computer Corp.," Forbes, January 12, 1998, pp. 90+.
  • ------, "Defending the Desktop," Forbes, December 28, 1998, p. 53.
  • ------, "Lew Platt: Why I Dismembered HP," Fortune, March 29, 1999, p. 167.
  • ------, "What Have You Invented for Me Lately?," Forbes, July 28, 1997, pp. 76+.
  • Packard, David, The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company, edited by David Kirby with Karen Lewis, New York: HarperBusiness, 1995.
  • Palmer, Jay, "Still Shining: Growth in PC Demand Abroad, Networking Make Compaq's Prospects Bright," Barron's, December 11, 1995, pp. 15-16.
  • Pitta, Julie, "Identity Crisis," Forbes, May 25, 1992.
  • ------, "It Had to Be Done and We Did It," Forbes, April 26, 1993, pp. 148-52.
  • Ramstad, Evan, "Compaq's CEO Takes Tricky Curves at High Speed," Wall Street Journal, January 5, 1998, p. B4.
  • Ramstad, Evan, and Jon G. Auerbach, "Compaq Buys Digital, an Unthinkable Event Just a Few Years Ago," Wall Street Journal, January 27, 1998, pp. A1, A14.
  • Stross, Randall E., "What's a High-Class Company Like Hewlett-Packard Doing in a Lowbrow Business Like PCs?," Fortune, September 29, 1997, pp. 129+.
  • Uttal, Bro, "Compaq Bids for PC Leadership," Fortune, September 29, 1986.
  • Ward, Judy, "The Endless Wave: Eckhard Pfeiffer Has Turned Compaq Around--Only to Face New Competition," Financial World, July 4, 1995, pp. 32-35.
  • Webber, Alan M., "Consensus, Continuity, and Commonsense: An Interview with Compaq's Rod Canion," Harvard Business Review, July/August 1990.
  • Whiting, Rick, "Compaq Stays the Course," Electronic Business, October 20, 1989.
  • Wiegner, Kathleen K., "Good-Bye to the HP Way?," Forbes, November 26, 1990.
  • Zell, Deone, Changing by Design: Organizational Innovation at Hewlett-Packard, Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, 1997.
  • Zipper, Stuart, "Compaq--Life After Canon?," Electronic News, November 4, 1991.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 50. St. James Press, 2003.