What is Hewlett Packard – Better Known As HP – History Behind The Company

What is Hewlett Packard - Known As HP - History Behind The Company - Logo

I’ve reviewed some of the biggest names in the computer producing market.

Apple and Microsoft may be in the limelight for right now.

But don’t feel obligated to just those two companies. There are many others out there and may even provide better results than the main two powerhouses in the game.


Hewlett Packard or better known as HP. Will be the topic of this article.

Let’s get into the meat of this and see the history behind the company.


What Is Hewlett Packard

HP Logo 1965-1979
HP Logo 1965-1979

Hewlett Packard is a multinational information technology company located in beautiful Palo Alto, California.

They develop and supply a wide selection of hardware components and software related to customers.

All of their products are focused towards the use of the following

  • Small & Medium Sized Business
  • Large Enterprises

Not to mention their products are also ideal for customers of the government, health and education fields.


Who Founded Hewlett Packard

Beleive it or not the company was formulated in a one car garage. By two men who went by the names of


William Hewlett - May 20, 1913 - January 12, 2001
William Hewlett – May 20, 1913 – January 12, 2001


David Packard - September 7, 1912 - March 26, 1996
David Packard – September 7, 1912 – March 26, 1996

Both men graduated with degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1935.

They founded Hewlett Packard on January 1, 1939.

It’s said that a professor that they had met in the past at the university. Who went by the name of Frederick Terman was a mentor to the duo and played a vital part in forming the company.

In 1938 both Packard and Hewlett begin to work part-time in a rented garage with an initial capital investment of $538.

In 1939 the duo formalizes their partnership.

To deiced whether the newfound company would be called Hewlett Packard or Packard Hewlett was decided by the flip of a coin.

HP was incorporated on August 18, 1947, and went public on November 6, 1957.


History Of The Hewlett Packard (HP) Company

They put a lot of time and energy into many projects before creating what is considered to be their first successful product. It was called a precision audio oscillator model HP200A.

HP200A - Front
HP200A – Front
HP200A - Top View
HP200A – Top View

At the time of its introduction to the public. This model was being sold for $89.40 while competitors were selling less productive versions for over $200. Making them a must-have commodity at the time.

The 200 series of generators continued until 1972.

HP partnered in the 1960s with Sony and Yokogawa Electric companies in Japan to develop several high-quality products. THe products were not as big as they were initially thought to be and the cost was very high to build HP looking products in Japan.

Yokogawa Office In Musashino
Yokogawa Office In Musashino

Both HP and Yokogawa formed a joint venture in 1963 to market products in Japan. Hp also went on to buy Yokogawa Electric’s share of Hewlett Packard Japan in 1999.

HP spun off a small company called Dynac to specialize in digital equipment. The name was picked so that the HP logo could be turned upside down and the image would then display the word “dy” of the new company. Soon Dynac changed to Dymec it was the folded back to HP in 1959.

HP experimented with Digital Equipment Corporation minicomputers with its instruments. They soon decided it would be easier to build another small design team to deal with DEC, HP came into the computer market in 1966 with the HP 2100/ HP 1000 series of minicomputers.

HP 1000
HP 1000

In the late 1960’s HP brought to us their first personal computer called the Hewlett Packard 9100A.

Hewlett Packard 9100A
Hewlett Packard 9100A

HP had to call it a desktop calculator because as Bill Hewlett stated “If we call it a computer, it would have been rejected by our customers and computer gurus because it didn’t look like an IBM model.

The keyboard for this device was not an alphabetic one. It was a cross from being a scientific calculator and an adding machine.

Steve Wozniak co-founder of Apple originally designed the Apple 1 computer while working at HP and offered it to them.

They did not take up on this offer as the company wanted to stay in the scientific, business and industrial markets.

Steve Wozniak in 2005
Steve Wozniak in 2005

Wozniak said that HP turned him down at least five times.

Wozniak later said his loyalty to HP made him hesitant to start Apple with Steve Jobs.

The 1980s HP would introduce both inkjet and laser printers for the desktop. Along with its scanner product line. These would later be developed into successful multifunctional products. The most noticeable being a single unit printer/scanner/copier/fax machines.

Once we get to the 1990s here’s where HP took the computer industry by storm.

HP by this time has increased their computer product line. They also purchased Apollo Computer in 1989 and Convex Computer in 1995.

Later in the decade, HP related hpshopping.com as an independent subsidiary to sell online, direct to consumers in 2005. The store was eventually renamed “HP Home & Home Office Store“.

Carly Fiorina - Former CEO Of Hewlett Packard
Carly Fiorina – Former CEO Of Hewlett Packard

in 99 HP named Carly Fiorina as the CEO of the company.

She served as CEO during the technology downturn of the early 2000s and led the merger with a company that turned out to be disastrous.

According to CNN, this led to the firing of 30,000 U.S. employees.

Under her leadership, the company doubled in size. Her time as CEO was tarnished by damaging leaks.

The HP board of directors would soon ask Fiorina to step down in 2005 following a boardroom disagreement. She would then go on to resign on February 9, 2005.

In 97 HP sold an astonishing $120 million dollars worth of printers and computer products to Iran through a European subsidiary and a Dubaibased East distributor, despite U.S. export sanctions prohibiting such deals imposed by Bill Clinton’s executive orders issued in 95.

The Boston Globe Paper April 2011
The Boston Globe Paper April 2011

This story was soon reported by The Boston Globe and this gained the attention of the SEC.

HP quickly jumped on top of this stating that the products they sold for over $120 million dollars were sold in fiscal in 2008 for distribution by way of Redington Gulf a company located in the Netherlands and that these sales took place through a foreign subsidiary, HP had not violated any sanctions.

HP named Redington Gulf the Wholesaler Of the Year in 2003.

According to former officials who worked on sanctions said that HP was using a loophole by routing their sales through a foreign subsidiary.

HP has ended their relationship with the Redington Gulf after the SEC inquiry.

September 3, of 2001 HP announced that an agreement had been reached with Compaq to merge the two companies. In May of 2002 after passing a shareholder vote HP officially merged with Compaq.

The merger had occurred after a proxy fight with Bill Hewlett’s son Walter who was against the merger. Compaq itself had purchased Tandem Computers in 97 and Digital Equipment Corporation in 98.

HP Laptop
HP Laptop

Following this blueprint. HP became a vital member in the desktop, laptop and servers community. Making these products for many different markets.

The merge also had an effect on the logo.

They had to figure out a way to get both companies names shown in a simple logo.

HWP” & “CPQ” were the abbreviations for both companies at the time. They eventually came to an agreement with “HPQ

In 2004 HP released the DV 100 series including HP Pavilion DV 1658 and 1040 two years later in May 2006, HP began its campaign “The Computer Is Personal Again”.

The campaign was designed to bring back the meaning of PC. To let customers know that this item is for your personal use.

Their advertising campaign contained many big named celebrities like the following

Early May 2008 HP and Electonic Data Systems announced that they had signed a definitive agreement under which HP would purchase EDS.

Later on in late June HP announced that the waiting period under the Hart Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 has expired.

The agreement was finalized on August 26, 2008, for $13billion and it was made public that EDS would be rebranded as “EDS a HP company”.

The first layoff in September of 2008 lead to around 24,600 people to go home jobless. This played a role into the purchase price as a $19.5 billion liability against goodwill. In September of 2009 EDS is known as HP Enterprise Services.

HP Palm Logo
HP Palm Logo

On April 28, 2010, Palm, Inc and Hewlett Packard announced that HP would purchase Palm for $1.2 billion in cash and debt.

Before this was publicly announced. It was rumored that either HTC, Dell, Research in Motion or HP would buy Palm. Adding Palm handsets to the HP product line created some overlap with the iPAQ series fo mobile devices. But it was thought to improve the HP’s mobile presence as iPAQ devices had not been selling well.

In August of that same year. Then CEO Mark Hurd resigned. CFO Cathie Lesjak assumed the role and took charge. Hurd was accused of sexual harassment against a colleague. Although the allegations were deemed baseless. The investigation led to questions concerning between $1,000 & $20,000 dollars worth of his private expenses. A few observers say Hurd was innocent. But the board asked him to resign to avoid a negative PR.

Léo Apotheker - Former HP CEO & President
Léo Apotheker – Former HP CEO & President

Soon after all this. Léo Apotheker was named the CEO & President of HP on Septemeber 30, 2010.

August of 2011 HP stated that they would overtime a period of time exit the smartphone and tablet computer business. To put more of their focus on higher margin solutions of cloud, solutions, and software with an emphasis on enterprise, commercial and government markets.

That following month then CEO and President of HP Apotheker and replaced him with a fellow board member and former eBay chief Meg Whitman & Raymond J. Lane as the executive chairman.

Even though Apotheker’s time was short lived as the top dog at HP. His 10-month term at the company gave him a $13 million dollar compensation.

I don’t think he has to look for a job anytime soon. Like most people do after being fired from their job.

Through the rest of 2011 and on through 2012. HP was making a lot of changes within the company and a lot of hiring and firing went on.

June of 2014 HP held a Discover customer event in Las Vegas. During the event, Whitman & Martin Fink announced a new computer architecture called The machine. The machine was supposed to come in commercialization before the end of the decade, meanwhile, it’s soaking up a whopping 75% of the research activity in HP labs.


October of 2014 HP announced it was planning to split into two different companies.

To separate its personal computer & printer business from its technology services.

This split did eventually happen. Leading to two separate companies just as planned.

The companies are named

Meg Whitman would serve as chairman for HP Inc and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Sprout By HP Logo
Sprout By HP Logo

October 29th of 2014 Hewlett Packard announced their new Sprout PC.

May 2015the company made public that it would be selling its controlling 51 percent stake in its Chinese data networking business to Tsinghua Unigroup for a “small” fee of oh let’s say $2.4billion.


Changes In The Company Over TIme


  • October 6, 2014, the company announced plans to split the PC and printers business from its enterprise products and services business.


  • On March 3 of 1986, HP registered the HP.com domain name. Making it the ninth internet registered .com domain to ever be registered.


Things The Company Can Be Proud Of


  • Hp was the world’s leading PC manufacturer in 2007 all the way until Q2 of 2013. Soon to have their spot claimed by Lenovo.


  • One of their earliest customers was Walt Disney Productions. They purchased 8 Model 200B oscillators for $71.50 a piece. Using them for the Fantasound surround sound systems installed in theaters for the hit movie Fantasia.


  • First handheld scientific electronic calculator in 1972


  • The first handheld programmable in 1974


  • The first alphanumeric, programmable, expandable in 1979


  • From 1995 to 1998, Hewlett Packard were sponsors of the well known English football team Tottenham Hotspurs


  • In July 1999 HP declared Carly Fiorina as the CEO of the company. The first female CEO of a fortune-20 company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.


  • On July 1, 2011, HP launched their first tablet named HP TouchPad bringing webOS to tablet devices.


  • HP has facialists everywhere. All over the place. They sell worldwide daily. That is a long way from a rented single car garage.

HP Products

Here are some great HP products for you to have a look at. Feel free to check them out.



You now have some insider information on Hewlett Packard (HP).

Feel free to comment and share with a friend or two. Thank you for reading have a nice day.

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  1. Keiron Reply

    Interesting stuff, definitely worth the read. I’ve always just associated HP with printers and such, but clearly there’s lots more associated with the name than just that! Glad I finally have a bit more insight to this huge successful company. I can’t believe HP has been around for so long! Damn!

  2. fernglow Reply

    Hi Tyler! Really comprehensive article on HP! It’s also very interesting how HP is the 9th domain registered on the internet and how it used to be one of the world’s leading manufacturer in PC! I still remember the days when HP PCs were the hype and popular. Reminiscing on it now haha!

  3. Nate Kidd Reply

    What a very comprehensive review. I learned a lot about HP today. Actually I use to live about an hour from Palo Alto so this brings back memories. It is so interesting to see what the first HP computer looked like and how technology has evolved over time.

    HP has a lot of accomplishments and definitely considered a top brand. One of my computers here at home is a HP. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Manny Reply

    Thanks for putting together so much information in such a compact article. It was really easy to read!

    Would you recommend HP Laptops or is Lenovo the way to go these days?

    Thank you, buddy,

    • Tyler Post authorReply

      Umm, it really depends on the type of computer I’m needing. But overall I would say HP because I’m more familiar with their products. Don’t get me wrong Lenovo makes bomb products too. Just haven’t ventured much over in that field to vouch for them like that.

  5. Hung Reply

    Out of all the PC brands, I think HP is the most durable. I’ve had several PCs and most of them start to show problems within a year.

    I’ve had both Dell PCs hard drive failure within the first 6 months! Maybe it’s just me and my luck.

    Cheers on the great history of HP.

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