Who is David Packard? Life and Success Story
David Packard, one of the founding partners of the Hewlett-Packard company known to everyone as HP today, was also the director of the company for a long time.
Packard was one of the leading manufacturers of devices such as electronic measuring devices, calculators, and computers: he was also deputy defense minister in America under President Nixon. Packard has supported many charities throughout his life. In this article, we share with you David Packard's life story and his achievements in the business world. It is possible to draw inspiration from Packard's life story and his active, helpful personality.
Years of Youth
David Packard was born on September 7, 1912 in Pueblo, Colorado. Packard, the son of a family of lawyers and high school teachers, constantly read books on science and electricity. He made his first radio while he was still in primary school. After graduating from the public high school where he was studying, he joined Stanford University in California as an electrical engineering student. He met his friend William Hewlett at Stanford, who was interested in electronics. Packard became an athlete in the best team of the university and was the president of the association. He completed his undergraduate education with honors in 1934.
After his graduation, he went to Schenectady, New York, to work in the vacuum tube engineering department at General Electric. In 1938 he returned to Stanford to work on the vacuum tube theory. In the same year, he married Lucile Salter, whom he knew from Stanford, and had 4 children.
The Story of Hewlett-Packard and the Company
Packard finished his work in 1939 with his professor at Stanford, Frederick Terman. During this period, he contacted his university friend Hewlett, who specialized in negative feedback circuits. Hewlett and Packard set up a laboratory in Packard's garage, and began manufacturing for many equipment such as the ventilation control unit, electronic harmonica tuner and exercise equipment. Within a short time, Hewlett and Packard turned their attention from special orders to mass instrument production. The product they gave priority was sound emitters, these devices created signals that were kept under control at a predetermined frequency. These vocalizers were used specifically to measure the performance of broadcast transmitters and loudspeakers. The sound pendulum produced by Hewlett and Packard was also used in the sound effects of Walt Disney's movie Fantasia.
During World War II, Hewlett and Packard quickly grew their companies, participating in many projects in the army and defense. While Hewlett was active in the US military, Packard ran the company alone. By the end of the war, the business shrank significantly, and for the first time in Packard's career, the number of workers was downsized. In the 1950s, the demand for the products increased again, and in 1957 the company's shares were listed on the stock market. Hewlett-Packard's product range went beyond electronic measuring devices for measuring frequencies only, and in 1972 hand-held scientific calculators were also produced. Although the company produced special computers according to demand in the 1940s, it did not offer the computers they produced to the market until 1960. Although experienced in supplying engineers and scientists with products, it has not been an easy process to grow Hewlett-Packard businesses and step into the consumer market. Still, a wide range of products such as programmable calculators, mini computers and micro computers were created.
Hewlett-Packard has become one of the first and largest electronics companies in the California region, now known as Silicon Valley. The limited sales team of the company expanded first nationally and then internationally. Production units have likewise expanded beyond California into Europe, South America and Asia. Throughout this whole process, many employees who have improved themselves at Hewlett-Packard have also reached the level of achieving very important work in the industry. For example, Stephen Wozniak, who first worked at Hewlett-Packard, became world-renowned as the co-founder of Apple.
At Hewlett-Packard, where Packard was the manager and Hewlett was a technical expert, restrained but unconventional business management was dominant. The profits made were considered to be reinvested in the company, so the company's debt was kept low. Following General Electric's example, the company preferred new graduates as employees. In addition to offering many benefits to its employees, the company also supported taking responsibility. Only a minority of employees at the company were laid off. Hewlett and Packard had set general objectives within the company and supported people who fit them, and placed more emphasis on them than hierarchy and financial gain. While engineering, sales and management jobs were handled mostly by men, women were predominant in the production line. The company's emphasis was not on keeping the price low, but on delivering high quality. When the number of employees reached thousands, Hewlett and Packard divided the company by product types in order to maintain the small business atmosphere. Each department had its own marketing, production and research team. General support activities such as sales and advertising, on the other hand, were carried forward with outsourced teams.
Packard and its Active Role
In addition to his activities at the company, Packard was also active in urban affairs. Packard, who served as chairman of the Palo Alto School from 1948 to 1956, also provided financial support to the US Republican Party. In 1964, he founded the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in Los Altos, California, and as chairman of this foundation, he supported many organizations requiring private funding and volunteering, such as universities, national institutes, communities, youth clubs, and hospitals. When President Richard Nixon was elected, he offered Packard the position of deputy minister of defense, whom he saw as a capable administrator. Packard accepted this offer, reducing its annual earnings from approximately 1 million to thirty thousand dollars. There were many discussions at the congress over Packard holding 1/3 of the Hewlett-Packard company shares and the company earning $ 100 million each year from defense-based projects. Packard deposited its own shares in the foundation fund to avoid conflicts of interest, sending all dividends and capital increases to donations.
Packard returned to Hewlett-Packard in 1971 and continued as chairman of the board even though he retired directly from management in 1977. Also, Caterpillar Tractor Co., Chevron Corp., The Boeing Co., Genentech Inc. and Bekman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic. He became a trustee of research groups such as the Herbert Hoover Foundation and the Institute of American Entrepreneurs. Packard was a member of the Trilateral Commission between 1973-1981 and an administrator in the US-Japan Consultative Commission between 1983-1985. In 1985, US President Reagan offered Packard a high-quality commission in defense administration. He was on the president's science and technology advisory council from 1990-1992 and became founding vice president at the California Round Table.
In addition to the foundation he founded, Packard has held senior management positions in many philanthropic organizations. He became chairman of the board of directors of the public aquarium foundation and research group in the city of Monterey, California, and was vice chairman of the board of directors of the California nature conservation agency in 1983. Between 1983-1989, he became the director of Wolf Trap, an art society in Vienna, Virginia.
Packard has obtained many patents in electronic measuring devices and published articles. He has been awarded with honors from many universities such as Pepperdine University, University of Notre Dame, Colorado College, University of California, Catholic University. He was deemed worthy of the Gandhi Peace Prize in 1988 and the Medal of Freedom given by the Presidency for the numerous awards he has won throughout his life, the innovations he has brought to technology and the benefits he has brought to society. In 1996, the names of both Packard and Hewlett were added to the honors list in the information industry.
In January 1989, Packard established a center dedicated to the future of children under the umbrella of their association, the David and Lucile Packard Center for the Future of Children. This center focused on the health and social problems of minority children under 7. This center, according to Packard, was perhaps the most important part of his association. Packard retired from the Hewlett-Packard board of directors in 1993 and was recognized as honorary chairman.
Packard passed away at Stanford Medical Center in 1996 after severe pneumonia. All of its 6.6 billion heritage was donated to the David and Lucile Packard Association, and the association became the country's largest charitable organization.