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This world-leading manufacturer of electronic goods has quite literally shaped the modern world with its inventions. The Philishave, an iconic battery shaver with rotating heads was launched by Philips in 1950, as a spin-off from its research into battery powered dynamos.
In 1963 it launched the compact audio cassette tape, and set the standard which is still used today. Twenty years later, Philips again revolutionised how the world listens to music when it launched the Compact Disc. It also invented the first home Video Cassette Recorder in 1973.
Philips is also the brand used in landmark buildings all over the world from the Eiffel Tower to the Pyramids of Giza to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. It employs 165,000 people worldwide and sells in 60 countries.
The company was founded in 1891 by Frederik Philips and his son Gerard in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Their aim was to make cost-effective reliable light bulbs for everyone. In 1933 it had become the world's largest producer of radios. In recent years it has become a major player in the medical market, a move which grew out of its involvement with light bulbs for X-rays, and now encompasses a wide range of products including an innovative scanning machine.
Design plays an important part in all Philips research and development, and its approach is to go way beyond aesthetics. At the start of the new century, it opened HomeLab in the Netherlands a fully functional home laboratory where researchers can study people's interactions with technology and designs.
Like all lighting and electronics manufacturers Philips is acutely aware of its climate change. Its world-class leadership in social, economic and environmental responsibility was recognized in 2003 when it was awarded the number one ranking in its sector in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.