With the passing of Wisse Dekker we have lost an inspirational leader who dedicated himself to Philips for 46 years. At Philips we knew him as a man with a razor-sharp mind who was able to quickly analyze situations and who , from 1982 to 1986, led our company with great vision and skill as President and Chairman of the Board of Management. Wisse Dekker was the driving force behind Philips’ expansion into the Far East and the United States and from 1986 to 1994, was Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
From a personal perspective, Wisse Dekker showed a genuine interest in people, both inside and of outside Philips, as evidenced by the many additional functions alongside his career at Philips. He was also a true European who recognized the strengths of European companies, and was ahead of his time in foreseeing the major opportunities offered by a unified European market. He was a major advocate of a strong Europe, and the increasing prosperity associated with it as a result of an open internal market.
He was also one of the driving forces behind the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), which was born out of a growing concern about the condition of the European economy in the years following 1980. The symptoms were a clear lack of dynamism, innovation and competitiveness, in comparison with Japan and the United States. In order to offer European businesses global opportunities, a group of 17 major entrepreneurs pooled their vision and knowledge, which resulted in the launch of the European Round Table of Industrialists in 1983. The objective of the ERT was to inform governments about the critical condition of the European economy, and advise them about solutions to this situation.
We remain grateful to Wisse Dekker for his tremendous commitment, involvement and wisdom, and our thoughts are with his family at this time.
Frans van Houten
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and chairmain of the Board of Management and Executive Committee of Royal Philips Electronics