Published February 09, 2005
LOS ANGELES – The ouster of Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Carly Fiorina (search) after a tumultuous five-year reign marks the latest development for the company whose history dates back to 1938.
Following are some of the highlights in the history of HP:
1938: Stanford University graduates Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard collaborate on the company's first product, an audio oscillator, in a Palo Alto garage.
1938: One of HP's first customers, Walt Disney, orders eight oscillators to test recording equipment and speaker systems in 12 specially-equipped theaters that will be used to show Disney's film, "Fantasia," to be released in 1940.
1939: Hewlett and Packard formalize their partnership on Jan. 1, 1939, deciding the company's name with a coin toss.
1940: HP moves from the garage behind Hewlett and Packard's house to rented buildings in Palo Alto. The start of World War II brings increased U.S. government orders for electronic instruments. Revenues at year-end total $34,396.
1942: Construction begins on the first HP-owned building in Palo Alto. Revenues hit $522,803.
1947: HP is incorporated. Packard is named president and Hewlett is vice president.
1948: Revenues total $2.2 million and employees number 128.
1957: HP goes public on Nov. 6 for $16 per share.
1962: For the first time, HP makes Fortune Magazine's top 500 U.S. companies, ranking 460.
1964: Packard is elected CEO and chairman of the board. Hewlett is named president.
1966: HP develops its first computer, the HP 2116A, making its entry into that business.
1972: HP introduces the HP-35, the first scientific handheld calculator.
1977: Hewlett retires as president but remains CEO. Packard remains chairman. HP engineer John Young is named president.
1978: Hewlett retires as CEO and the company names Young to succeed him. Young serves until 1992.
1980: HP introduces its first personal computer, the HP-85 and a steady stream of PCs follow.
1984: The HP LaserJet Pinter line debuts and becomes the company's most successful single product ever.
1992: John Young retires, Lew Platt, an engineer, is elected president and CEO and a member of the board.
1993: Packard retires as chairman, succeeded by Platt. HP ships its 10 millionth HP LaserJet printer.
1996: Packard dies on March 26.
1999: HP spins off Agilent Technologies, consisting of HP's former measurement and medical business. Agilent's IPO takes place on Nov, 18, 1999, with HP retaining an 84-percent stake.
1999: Platt retires; HP names Carly Fiorina as president and CEO. Fiorina has nearly 20 years of experience at AT&T and Lucent Technologies.
2000: Fiorina is named chairman.
2001: Bill Hewlett dies on Jan 12. On Sept 4, HP and Compaq announce a controversial merger agreement to create an $87 billion company, facing fierce opposition from Walter Hewlett, son of HP founder William Hewlett and an HP director.
2002: HP completes the merger with Compaq on May 3 following a vitriolic eight-month proxy fight that spilled over into the courts. After absorbing Compaq, HP begins laying off thousands of workers to cut costs.
2005: HP board of directors, unhappy with the uneven performance of the company and the failure of the merger to deliver the results Fiorina promised, considers a management reorganization. Fiorina steps down on Feb. 9. HP names chief financial officer Robert Wayman as interim CEO.