Electronics giant Philips has been around since Gerard Philips and his father Frederik started selling their light bulbs in 1891. Perhaps best known for putting out the perfect cassette product for break-up music mixtapes amongst people of a certain age, the company has since redefined themselves as a provider of healthcare services and solutions.
As one of the largest global technology business in the world, it employs 77,000 worldwide and 21,000 in the United States. They are about to add 800 more to that American tally with the recent opening of Philips Plaza, a five-story high rise located at 414 Union Street, Nashville TN.
To celebrate the occasion, an open-house event was held on April 2nd. Philips was represented by business leader Maria Houchins, Global Business Services North America and company CFO Abijit Bhattacharya. They were joined by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Lt. Governor Rand McNally, Speaker of the House Glenn Casada (R-Franklyn) and Commissioner Bob Rolfe of the TN Department of Economic and Community Development.
The project was made possible with a $14.5 million in grants from state and local sources to promote local job growth and they have fully delivered on their promise. Almost 700 of the total 815 staff members have already been hired and most will be working in IT, procurement, healthcare, finance, human resources and customer service.
“The majority are local talent, which is great because there are so many universities that have given us the opportunity to bring local talent in,” Houchins said.
“Philips is a global leader and one of the things that’s kept it around for 128 years is that it has continued to transform and change. Maybe there a lot of people here who don’t know what a cassette recorder is but I remember when cassettes were a new technology,” said Governor Bill Lee.
Lee is referring to the company’s emergence as a health-tech leader after flagging profits signaled the need for change. The company’s CFO Bhattacharya said that things have started looking up for Philips in the last few years, reporting annual revenues of $18 billion and their acquisition of 18 healthcare companies.
Of the company’s decision to call Nashville home, Lee feels they will make a wonderful addition to an already established center of commerce. “We are certainly a hub for the healthcare businesses, for healthcare innovation, and for healthcare technology. It is a valuable piece of the equation for us to have a company like Philips here so we thank you.”
Bhattacharya is also pleased that Philips will be Tennessee-based, stating the company signed a 10-year lease for 100,000 square feet at their plaza. “We’ve been in Nashville for more than a decade, much before bachelorette parties became so popular [here],” Bhattacharya said. “We are here to stay… We’ve made a real commitment.”