HP Divisions



HP Divisions

(1939) The Garage
(1940) Tinker Bell Shop
(1956) Dymec
(1959) HP GmbH (Boeblingen)
(1959) New Jersey
(1960) Loveland
(1962) Colorado Springs
(1962) Neely Sales
(1963) Yokogawa HP
(1966) South Queensferry
(1967) Mountain View
(1968) San Diego
(1969) Cupertino
(1970) HP Singapore
(1971) Grenoble
(1972) Advanced Products
(1972) Data Systems
(1973) Boise
(1975) General Systems
(1975) Data Terminals
(1976) Disc Memory
(1976) Corvallis
(1977) Fort Collins
(1978) Direct Marketing
(1979) Vancouver
(1980) Computer Systems
(1980) Roseville Networks
(1980) Greeley
(1981) Information Networks
(1982) Roseville Terminals
(1982) Personal Office Computer
(1983) Personal Software
(1983) Panacom Automation
(1984) Computer Peripherals Bristol
(1989) Apollo


In the opinion of the curator, the most important management practice adopted by HP that facilitated the extension and continuity of “The HP Way” company culture was HP’s decentralized organizational structure. As the company grew, operations were “divisionalised”. HP divisions operated like separate companies with profit and loss responsibility residing with the division manager (albeit with some shared costs like the sales force). Of course, these divisions shared the same culture, values and objectives – the most important of which was profitability. David Packard was an evangelist for decentralization. He correctly believed that the trend toward centralization in the computer business in the 1980s was the major cause of slowdown in that business in the mid to late part of the decade (at the time, it took five weeks to implement a price change even for PC products).

It’s easier to have fun working for a small company than working for a big one. The culture in small companies usually reflects the values and personality of the founder. These companies are great places to work when the founder is capable, ethical, charismatic and energetic (and miserable places when the founder is an ogre). Compared to employees in large companies, employees in small companies are generally closer to customers, less encumbered by bureaucracy and have a wider range of responsibility. They are more empowered and much more likely to enjoy their jobs. To maintain the small-company staff motivation and productivity benefits as HP grew, the company began establishing relatively autonomous divisons beginning in the 1950s.

The museum has numerous examples of the downsides of decentralization in the form of duplicated R&D efforts. In the opinion of the curator, this duplicated cost was more than offset by increased innovation and reduced development times generated by the inter-divisional “competition”.

The first HP division to market products into data processing applications was the Datamec Division, subsequently renamed the Mountain View Division. The Datamec Company made magnetic tape drives for the computer industry when it was acquired by HP in July of 1965. HP’s first home-grown computer product was the 2116A which came out of the Dymec Division in 1966. At this point in history, Datamec and Dymec were two of the thirteen major operating divisions that comprised the Hewlett Packard Company. The other major divisions were: F&M Scientific, Sanborn, Paeco,  Rockaway, Delcon, HP Associates, Moseley, Microwave, Loveland, Colorado Springs and Frequency and Time.

The number of HP divisions involved in the computer business grew in the 1970s and exploded in the 1980s. By the mid 1980s, HP had over thirty divisions operating in the computer business. It was common for divisions to move, change their names or to change the technologies with which they were involved. We have profiled most of the divisions that were involved in the computer industry through the end of the 1980s. Many of these divisions do not have their own pages, but are included in the profile of a related division. For example, all of the divisions that operated out of Fort Collins Colorado are included in the “Fort Collins” page. Most of the source material from our division profiles has come from HP’s Measure Magazine and Computer News. Other information has come from HP promotional literature, manuals and user publications. Our profiles are very limited. Please contact us if you have additional information or photos that we might use.

There are many documents that HP produced that cover the more fundamental elements of HP that were common to all divisions. Documents covering the HP Way, Careers, Quality, Standards of Business Conduct etc. To see the musuem's collection of those documents, click the 'HP Corporate Documentation' link below.

| Back | HP Corporate Documentation | ^ TOP

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