Caroline Clarke, Jan Kimpen, Sean Carney, and several other Philips’ executives share their experiences of turning around Philips’ fortunes, from ailing consumer electronics giant in the mid-nineties to global leader in health technology in this documentary about coming back from the brink.
Philips’ Chief Design Officer, Sean Carney recounts Philips’ early legacy for innovative products, “Philips…was always known for producing a lot of forward-looking concepts, visions of the future”. He recalls the tough days of the mid-nineties when an over-diversification, a lack of strategic focus and slow response to competition had brought the company to the brink of a meltdown.
In 2011, things began to change at Philips under the new leadership of chief executive Frans van Houten who, with his visionary focus, restructured the business to focus on healthcare. Chief Medical Officer Jan Kimpen recounts, “I think what [Frans] did very well was to read the outside world, to read the transformation that was going on in healthcare; and he decided to change the company into a pure technology company”.
Indeed, Philips’ spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that had brought it much early success is still its hallmark today. According to Diederik Zeven, who leads Philips’ Heath Systems business across ASEAN Pacific: “Everything we do is with that specific goal in mind – how do we touch, through our innovations, people’s lives … and deliver real contribution to the sustainability of society.”