Introduction: Philips (01:32)
Phillips was one of the largest electronics companies in the world in the 20th century; its products were sold in over 180 countries. By the 2000s, the company was losing more than $3 billion a year.
Visions of the Future (06:40)
Philips was founded in 1892 in the Netherlands. Dutch brothers Gerard and Anton Philips were the first to mass produced the light bulb. Philips later expanded its business to include radios. The chain entered the Asian market before any rivals.
Downward Turn (03:44)
In 1990, Philips announced losses of over $2 billion, the biggest corporate loss in Dutch history. The company offered too many products and was spreading itself thin. In Europe, its market share for consumer electronics fell by over 10% in 1993.
Cutting Losses (03:42)
Philips hired Cor Bunstra as CEO after losing $300 million in 1996. He sought to streamline the company by cutting its labor force and closing divisions that were losing money. Philips dissolved 40 businesses and closed 50 factories in 1999.
Outdated Products (04:41)
By the mid-2000s, Philips TVs were under pressure from emerging Korean technology companies. The Dutch company stuck with analog televisions while Samsung and LCD Corporation targeted younger consumers with cheaper and more technologically advanced models. Philips’ audio sales also plummeted as consumers increasingly preferred digital downloads.
New Business Focus (04:35)
Philips spent $8 billion on new assets from 2007 to 2010. Having acquired medical companies in the United States and Asia, the company shifted focus from consumer electronics to healthcare. Frans van Houten became CEO in 2011 and decided to split the company.
Big Vision (04:50)
Philips researchers were accustomed to working on a wide range of products, but were increasingly instructed to be more focused. Leading designer Sean Carney created tools that improved communication and encouraged three-dimensional ideation.
Medical Technology (04:33)
Philips invested nearly $2 billion in research and development, and opened a regional headquarters in Singapore. The company tailored its healthcare technology to prepare for an anticipated spike in Asia’s elderly population. Its remote monitoring system has allowed patients to measure vital statistics at home.
Improving Access to Healthcare (05:55)
Philips medical technology has improved the lives of people in some of the most remote parts of Asia. Midwife Luh Ramiati visits an expectant mother who lives two hours from Jayapura, New Guinea. She uses a smartphone to transmit data back to the health center.
Transforming Medicine (03:58)
Philips researcher Martin Van Der Mark used the technology behind LED lights to create a catheter that is safer, cheaper, and more precise than electric catheters. The company aspires to improve the lives of 3 billion people by 2025. It recorded $20 billion in sales in 2016.
Credits: Philips (00:42)
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