The proposal to rename the company ‘Royal Philips’ will be put to vote at the annual general meeting in Amsterdam on 3 May.
“Philips is a diversified technology company focused on delivering meaningful innovation in healthcare, energy-efficient lighting and consumer health and well-being,” said CEO Frans Van Houten in a statement.
According to Elvin Ong, regional corporate communications director for Philips in Asia, the name change is part of the company’s decision last year to change its mission and vision to make the world healthier and more sustainable. “As part of that we transferred our traditional consumer electronics business, comprising TV, audio and video to other partners,” Ong said. Last month, Philips sold its lifestyle entertainment business to Japanese company Funai for about US$200 million. “Royal Philips much better reflects our current and future portfolio,” Ong added.
Brand experts lauded the move. “It’s a sensible thing to do,” said Alan Couldrey, CEO of Brand Union. “Electronics is not a modern and contemporary name, besides this gives them the option to diversify.”
“It’s a forward-looking positive move, given Philips shift in corporate strategy to move away from consumer electronics,” said Divya Ahluwalia, director of brand development at Oracle Added Value. “Brands live and evolve and all elements of branding need to be current, relevant and congruent with the strategy the brand is pursuing.”
Last April, Philips spun off its television business to Hong-Kong based LCD screen and computer maker TPV Technology. The Philips television division was posting losses in 2011 owing to competition from Asian manufacturers.