Philips is a Dutch diversified technology company with its headquarters in Amsterdam. Their primary products focus on the areas of healthcare, lifestyle, and lighting. The company was founded in 1891 by Gerard Philips and his father Frederik.
Frederik was a banker, and his knowledge was integral in financing the purchase of an empty factory building in Eindhoven, where the company started production. The first product produced by the company was carbon-filament lamps.
After much financial struggle, the company brought in Gerard’s younger brother Anton. Although much younger than Gerard, Anton had a degree in engineering and began contributing many key ideas to the company. With Anton on-board, the company began to expand and achieve great success. By the time the 1920s and 30s rolled around, the company was producing vacuum tubes, razors, radios and loudspeakers.
During World War II, the company learned of the German invasion of the Netherlands the day before it happened. Anton and his son as well as other family members fled the country for the United States. Upon arrival they managed to run the company from the United States as the North American Philips Company, and interestingly enough, the company was moved (on paper at least) to the Netherlands Antilles to keep ownership of the company out of American hands.
Following the war, the company was moved back to the Netherlands, staking their ground with their headquarters in Eindhoven. With some crafty thinking and planning, Philips had managed to hide many of their research facilities from invaders, allowing them to get back up to speed quickly.
In 2011, Philips reported that net profits has slumped more than 85 percent, resulting in a cut of 4,500 jobs worldwide. That said, they still remain one of the largest electronics companies in the world. Philips has facilities in more than 60 countries around the globe, and employ more than 120,000 people.