San Diego

Division name: San Diego

Founded: 1968
Address: 16399 West Bernardo Drive, San Diego California

San Diego Division Building 61


The F.L. Moseley Company was founded by Francis Moseley in 1935 (prior to the founding of HP). Moseley invented the first X-Y recorder (2-axis analog hardcopy recorder). HP bought 80 percent of the Moseley Company in November of 1958. Moseley asked for $1.5M for his company, but HP paid $2M as a fairer price. It was HP’s first acquisition. At the time, Moseley had annual sales of just under $2M and operated out of a facility located at 409 North Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena California. Frank Moseley joined HP’s board of directors. In 1964, HP bought the remaining 20 percent of Moseley and the business formally became HP’s Moseley Division.

By April of 1968, the Moseley Division had 408 employees working out of four buildings in Pasadena and Covina. In September of 1968, HP moved the headquarters of the division to the northern San Diego suburb of Rancho Bernardo into a leased building located at 16870 West Bernardo Drive. The move included 80 employees in administration, marketing and engineering. Manufacturing of X-Y recorders continued in Pasadena. The Moseley Division changed its name to the San Diego Division. The general manager of the new division was John Brown. In December of 1968, HP purchased a 71-acre site just up the road from the leased building in Rancho Bernardo on which to build the permanent facilities of the San Diego Division. The first product that SDD built specifically for the computer industry was the 9125A (companion to the 9100A desktop calculator), introduced in 1968. During that same year, all of the recorder products from HP's medical products division (Sanborn) were transferred to the San Diego Division.

In the autumn of 1970, HP completed construction of the 125,000 square foot building 61 on the San Diego site. 350 employees moved into the new building from the leased building and from the Pasadena manufacturing site. HP had difficulty finding housing in the Rancho Bernardo area for black employees who were relocating from the Pasadena manufacturing plant, but HP had no problem finding housing for white employees. HP placed an advertisement in the Escondido Times-Advocate stating this fact.

SDD was known as the "Surf & Turf Division". In November of 1973, Dick Moore replaced John Brown as general manager of the San Diego Division. In 1977, Brian Moore replaced Dick Moore as general manager of the division (no relation). That same year, SDD introduced HP’s first multiple-pen plotter, the 9872A.

SDD grew slowly between 1972 and 1976 averaging only three percent CAGR. SDD had 760 employees in August of 1976. Between 1976 and 1980, the division grew at an average of 39 percent per year, with revenues reaching $100M in 1980. By 1980, 1000 people were working at SDD.

In October of 1977, another 125,000 square foot building (building 61A) was completed on the site. A cafeteria and conference room building (64) was completed at the same time. SDD made a wide range of products in the 1970s including X-Y recorders, strip chart recorders, magnetic tape recorders, thermal printers and digital pen plotters. In 1980, SDD introduced the 7580A, the first product in what would be a highly successful range of paper-moving plotters. The other business impetus for the division in the early 1980s was the sale of small-format plotters used in business graphics applications attached to IBM PCs. Thanks to the paper-moving plotters, SDD's business more than doubled between 1982 and 1984. It was up another 75 percent by 1986, when it drew equal with the disc drive business in revenues.

In October of 1979, SDD introduced the 7310A thermal printer. The 7310A was very similar to the 9876A from the Desktop Computer Division; the 7310A lasted less than two years on the market.

In May of 1981, SDD assumed marketing responsibility for the 9874A and 9111A digitizers. These digitizers had been developed at the Greeley and Fort Collins Divisions which retained manufacturing responsibility.

In the late 1970s, HP's Data Terminals Division had shown that the company could make a lot of money selling peripherals onto non-HP systems. By the early 1980s, this is exactly what the San Diego Division was doing. DTD and SDD pioneered this type of business for HP before the advent of the laser and inkjet printers.

In November of 1982, HP obtained an option to purchase a 300 acre site near Fallbrook California for possible future expansion of the San Diego Division. This option was never exercised. In 1983, SDD introduced what was to become the most popular pen plotter ever: the 6-pen 7475A. In 1984, HP introduced the highest performing small-format plotter of all time, the 7550A. SDD introduced the 7090A measurement plotting system the same year. In April of 1985, Scott McClendon replaced Brian Moore as the general manager of SDD. That same year, SDD introduced HP's only ever film recorder, the 7510A (manufactured by the Colorado Springs Division). The 7510A was an instant failure. SDD also introduced the small-format, 8-pen ColorPro plotter in hopes of appealing to general purpose business graphics users. The ColorPro also sold well below expectations. It's just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing system was renamed "Jam it into trailers" in reference to managing the excess finished goods inventory.

SDD passed the $250M mark in revenues in 1984.

In February of 1985, SDD established the Barcelona Peripherals Operation under Wolf Michel. BPO began manufacturing small-format pen plotters in the Spring of that year. BPO shipped its first large-format Draftmaster plotter, on March 19, 1990.

In August of 1986, SDD introduced HP’s first low-cost large-format drafting plotter, the DraftPro. Employment at the division surpassed 1500 people in 1986. The high-performance DraftMaster plotters came out the following year to replace the successful 758X line.

In 1987, SDD introduced HP’s first color printer, the 180-dpi PaintJet.

In 1988, SDD entered the electrostatic plotter market with the introduction of the 7600 Series. These plotters were made by Matsushita in Japan. The electrostatic plotter business only lasted a few years for HP, eventually giving way to the far more cost effective large-format inkjet plotters (DesignJets) in 1991.

In August of 1989, the San Diego Printer Operation was created to focus on color inkjet printers. Larry Brown managed the new operation. This operation introduced HP's first A3-size color printer, the 180-dpi PaintJet XL, in November of 1989.

In June of 1990, the remaining part of the San Diego Division was renamed the San Diego Technical Graphics Division (STG). At the same time, the San Diego Printer Operation was upgraded to division status and named the San Diego Color Imaging Division, under Larry Brown. When the division split, each entity had revenues of just over $200 million per year.

The first product introduced by the new Color Imaging Division was the PaintJet XL300 in 1992, a mediocre printer in most respects. The last printer-only product introduced by the San Diego Color Imaging Division was the DeskJet 1200C in 1993. All future hardcopy products out of San Diego would be multi-function (print, fax, copy).

In late 1991, Antonio Perez became the general manager of the San Diego Technical Graphics Division with responsibility for R&D and marketing. Manufacturing responsibility moved to Barcelona, Spain.

The San Diego Technical Graphics Division introduced HP's first large-format color inkjet printer, the DesignJet 650C, in May of 1993.

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