Frederik J. Philips


Frederik J. Philips
Eindhoven, Netherlands
Associated organizations
N. V. Philips' Gloeilampenfabrieken


Mr. Frederik J. Philips, the son of Dr. Anton F. Philips, the genial founder of N. V. Philips' Gloeilampenfabrieken, and Mrs. A. H. E. M. Philips-de Jongh, was born in Eindhoven on April 16, 1905. From 1923 to 1929 he studied at Delft University, graduating as a mechanical engineer in the latter year. He entered the service of N. V. Philips' Gloeilampenfabrieken on December 1, 1930, his first post being that of works engineer in the "Philite" factory; he was appointed works manager in May 1931.

He became entrusted with the running, first of the Machine Factory at Eindhoven and subsequently of all machine shops. Afterwards he was made responsible, with others, for the building up of departments turning out products that had previously lain outside the scope of Philips. At that time radio receivers and lamps constituted practically the only products of the firm. Amongst other items, Mr. F. J. Philips took a hand in the development of electro-acoustical, welding and lighting products (gas discharge lamps, such as sodium and mercury vapour lamps).

In 1936 Mr. Philips was appointed deputy manager and in 1939, before the outbreak of World War II, he became a manager. He was one of the four members of a board then managing the firm and remained in the Netherlands during the occupation. During those difficult years the management of the company in occupied Europe rested on his shoulders. When the Presidium and the Board of Management were set up in 1946, Mr. Philips was appointed vice-chairman of both bodies. As such, he acted as right-hand man to Mr. P. F. S. Otten, who was the chairman. Since the war many responsibilities have fallen to Mr. Philips within the framework of the division of tasks between members of the Board of Management. His main commitments have been the commercial policy of the concern in the field of industrial equipment, including telecommunications equipment, and direct supervision of the social activities of the company, such as medical service, housing and dealing with the Unions, etc. For several years he paid special attention to the organization of the scientific research in the Netherlands and the research centres abroad. These activities kept his interest also during his presidentship.

On March 29, 1961, Mr. Otten on reaching the age of 65 handed over the presidency of N. V. Philips' Gloeilampenfabrieken to Mr. Philips, in which function he has travelled to almost every part of the world. He has been granted many high honours and awards.

In June 1971 Mr. Philips retired as President and was appointed chairman and delegate of the Supervisory Board of N. V. Philips' Gloeilampenfabrieken. Mr. Philips has always given much attention to the social and human relations in a multinational company and developed some basic considerations how a modern industrial policy should be carried out.

For eight years after the war he was vice-president of the Netherlands Employers' Association, and in virtue of this he took a big part in the postwar development of the country's socio-economic structure. As a member of two royal commissions Mr. Philips was closely concerned with the decision to found a technical university at Eindhoven. He is chairman of the governing board of the Eindhoven University Fund. Furthermore for many years he was chairman of the Advisory Council on Military Production.

Mr. Philips was married in 1929 to Sylvia van Lennep. They live in Eindhoven, the Netherlands and have three sons, four daughters, and thirteen grandchildren.

Mr. Philips has a keen interest in flying, is the promoter of the Philips' Flight Department and has a pilot licence himself for more than 30 years. Among his hobbies are sailing, shooting, skiing and tennis. He is a great collector of arts.

Mr. Philips is a Protestant and a supporter of the Moral Re-Armament.