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William Redington Hewlett

Hewlett, William Redington (hyōˈlĭt) [key], 1913–2001, American engineer and business executive, b. Ann Arbor, Mich., grad. Stanford (B.S. 1934, Engineer 1939), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.S. 1936). He and classmate David Packard formed an electronics business in Palo Alto that became the Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) in 1938, initiating the electronics and computer industry that ultimately became Silicon Valley. HP grew rapidly during World War II and in the 1950s became dominant in electronic testing and measuring equipment. In 1960s and 70s it began manufacturing computers and scientific calculators; Hewlett, who was the engineering force behind the company, played a pivotal role in the development of the latter. Valuing individual creativity and eschewing traditional business hierarchies, Hewlett served in various HP executive positions. He also was a philanthropist, founding (1966) the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

See K. Tracy, William Hewlett (2003); J. S. Malone, Bill & Dave (2007).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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