Frederik Jacques Philips, the "entrepreneur with a generous heart " and longtime fixture at Philips in the Netherlands, died on December 5 at age 100.
Frederik Jacques Philips was born in Eindhoven in the Netherlands on April 16, 1905. He was the only son of Dr. Anton Philips and was the nephew of Gerard Philips, founder of Philips. He was raised and trained with the understanding that one day he would be involved in "The Factory."
"My father was not the kind of man to hand me privileges on a plate," Frits Philips wrote in his biography, 45 Years With Philips, in 1976. "I was going to have to earn my place at Philips. He wanted me to be an engineer like his brother."
In 1929, Frits gained his mechanical engineering degree from the Technical University in Delft, having specialized in manufacturing techniques and business administration. Technology held a life-long fascination for him.
He helped Philips stay at the forefront of technology, and became president in 1961. Under his leadership, Philips was the first European company to open a plant in Taiwan and he spearheaded its pioneering environmental policy. He retired as president in 1971 and as chairman in 1977.
When Frits celebrated his 100th birthday earlier this year, he did so quietly at home - but thousands of people celebrated the event in festivities in Eindhoven.
"In Frits Philips, we lose a warm and committed man, spirited entrepreneur, who lived his life to the full, and who was intensively involved with Philips and the world outside", says Gerard Kleisterlee, president and CEO of Royal Philips Electronics. "We are thankful for his service to our company for which we will always remember him."
Frits Philips will be laid to rest at a private ceremony for family on Monday, December 12, 2005 in Eindhoven. A memorial service will be held at the Frits Philips Music Center at 11 AM, with doors opening at 10 AM for those wishing to pay their respects.
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