Tektronix, Inc.

Infobox Company
company_name = Tektronix, Inc.
company_type = Subsidiary
parent = Danaher Corporation
foundation = 1946, Oregon
location = Beaverton, Oregon
key_people = Jim Lico, President
Richard Wills, Chairman
Howard Vollum, Cofounder
Melvin Murdock, Cofounder
industry = Electronic Equipment
products = Testing Equipment,
Measurement Equipment
revenue = $1,039.9 million USD (FY 2006)
operating_income = profit $118.7 million USD (FY 2006)
net_income = profit $92.4 million USD (FY 2006)
num_employees = 4,359 (2006)
subsid =
slogan = Enabling Innovation
homepage = [http://www.tek.com www.tek.com]
footnotes = Financial data. [http://www.tek.com/ir/FY06_10K_FINAL.pdf Tektronix, Inc. 2006 Annual Report] ]

Tektronix, Inc. is a North American company best known for its test and measurement equipment such as oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, and video and mobile test protocol equipment. As of November 2007, Tektronix is a subsidiary of Danaher Corporation. [ cite web
url = http://www2.tek.com/cmswpt/prdetails.lotr?ct=PR&cs=News+Release&ci=12289&lc=EN
title = DHR Completes Acquisition of Tektronix
publisher = Tektronix
work = Tektronix official website
date = 2007-11-21
accessdate = 2007-11-26

Several charities are or were associated with Tektronix, including the Tektronix Foundation and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust in Vancouver, Washington.

The company was honored at the 2008 Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for development of monitoring systems for ATSC & DVB transport streams.


The company traces its roots to the electronics revolution that immediately followed World War II. The company’s founders C. Howard Vollum and Melvin J. "Jack" Murdock invented the world’s first triggered oscilloscope in 1946, a significant technological breakthrough.Mokhoff, Nicolas. [http://www.eetimes.com/op/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=194400921 RF design contest marks oscilloscope's birth.] "EETimes". Retrieved on December 9,2007.] Tektronix was incorporated in 1946 with its headquarters at SE Foster Road and SE 59th Street in Portland, Oregon.Textronix, Inc., contributes as state’s largest employer. "Hillsboro Argus", October 19, 1976.] In 1947 there were 12 employees, and 250 in 1951. By 1950 the company began building a manufacturing facility in Washington County, Oregon at Barnes Road and the Sunset Highway and expanded the facility by 1956 to convert|80000|sqft|m2|-3. The company then moved its headquarters to this site following an employee vote.

In 1956 a large piece of property in nearby Beaverton became available with the closing of the Bernard Airport, and the company’s employee retirement trust purchased the land and leased it back to the company. Construction began in 1957 and on May 1,1959 Tektronix moved into its new Beaverton headquarters campus. Its IPO, when it publicly sold its first shares of stock, was on September 11, 1963.Fact|date=June 2007 In 1974 the company acquired convert|256|acre|km2|1 in Wilsonville, Oregon where they built a facility for their imaging group. By 1976 the company employed nearly 10,000, and was the state’s largest employer.

For many years, Tektronix was the major electronics manufacturer in Oregon, and in 1981 U.S. payroll peaked at over 24,000 employees. Tektronix also had operations in Europe, South America and Asia. European factories were located in St. Peter Port on the island of Guernsey (then in the European Free Trade Association), Hoddesdon (North London, UK) and Heerenveen, The Netherlands (then in the European Common Market).

For many years, Tektronix operated in Japan as Sony-Tektronix, a 50-50 joint venture of Sony Corporation and Tektronix, Inc; this was due to Japanese trade restrictions at the time. Since then, Tektronix has bought out Sony's share and is now the sole owner of the Japanese operation.

Some former Tektronix employees left to create other successful Silicon Forest companies. Spin-offs include Mentor Graphics, Planar Systems, Floating Point Systems, Merix Corporation, and Anthro Corporation. Even some of the spin-offs have created spin-offs, such as InFocus. Tektronix instruments have enjoyed a leading position in the test and measurement market for decades, basically beginning with the firm's first cathode ray oscilloscopes. Much like Hewlett-Packard, Tektronix had a company policy of designing equipment of the very highest quality. Their equipment was quite expensive, but usually unmatched in performance, quality, and stability. Most test equipment manufacturers built their oscilloscopes with off-the-shelf, generally available components. But Tektronix, in order to get an extra measure of performance, used many custom-designed or specially-selected components. They even had their own factory for making ultra-bright and sharp CRT tubes. Later on they built their own integrated circuit manufacturing facility in order to make ICs of their own design with many times the performance of generally available components. Tektronix instruments contributed significantly to the development of computers and communications equipment and to the advancement of research and development in the high-technology electronics industry generally.

On November 21,2007, Tektronix was acquired by Danaher Corporation for $2.85 billion. Prior to the acquisition, Tektronix traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "TEK", the nickname by which Tektronix is known to its employees, customers, and neighbors. On October 15,2007, Danaher Corporation tendered an offer to acquire Tektronix for $38 cash a share, which equated to a valuation of approximately $2.8 billion. [ [http://money.cnn.com/2007/10/15/news/companies/bc.danaher.tektronix.ap/index.htm?postversion=2007101508 Danaher to buy Tektronix for $2.85B] CNNMoney, accessed October 15 2007.] The deal closed five and a half weeks later, with 90 percent of TEK shares being sold in the tender offer. [ cite web
url = http://www2.tek.com/cmswpt/prdetails.lotr?ct=PR&cs=News+Release&ci=12288&lc=EN
title = Danaher Closes Subsequent Offering Period for Tektronix; Acquires Over 90% of TEK Shares
work=Tektronix website
] Also, as part of its acquisition by Danaher, the Communications Business division of Tektronix was spun off into a separate business entity under Danaher, Tektronix Communications.

Employee relations

The early Tektronix was often described as exemplary in its employee relations practices. Rules were played down and trust and reliance on each individual's judgment were emphasized. Vacation and health benefits were unusually liberal, and a generous profit sharing plan returned 35% of corporate pretax profits to employees. This worked well for Tektronix employees during the years that profits were substantial.

'Non test' products

Some important non-test equipment Tektronix created and sold include:
* the Tektronix 4014 computer terminal
* the Tektronix 405x graphical microcomputers
* flatbed plotters used with Tektronix computers
* TekXPress X-terminals, later sold to Network Computing Devices
* "Phaser" -branded color computer printers, including their pioneering Solid Ink models, sold to Xerox in 1999
* television studio and video production equipment manufactured by onetime Tek subsidiary Grass Valley Group, which was spun off as an independent company (and later bought by Thomson SA). Grassvalley is now a division of Thomson.


In the 1980s, Tektronix found itself distracted with too many divisions in too many markets. This led to decreasing earnings in almost every quarter. A period of layoffs, top management changes and sell-offs followed. In 1994, Tektronix spun off its printed circuit board manufacturing operation as a separate company, Merix Corp., headquartered in Forest Grove, Oregon. [ cite web
url = http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EKF/is_n2009_v40/ai_15316204
title = Tek spin-off IPO seeks $34M - $41M
work = Electronic News
date = 1994-04-11
author = Jeff Dorsch, Katie Hottinger
accessdate = 2008-07-03
] Eventually, Tektronix was left with its original test and measurement equipment. Upon his promotion in 2000, the current CEO, Richard H. "Rick" Wills, carefully limited corporate spending in the face of the collapsing high-tech bubble. This led the way for Tektronix to emerge as one of the largest companies in its product niche, with a market capitalization of $3 billion as of April, 2006.

Notable employees

The following notable individuals currently work for Tektronix, or have previously worked for Tektronix in some capacity. This list includes persons who are notable for reasons unrelated to their Tektronix careers.

*Jean Auel: technical writer; author
*Kent Beck: engineer; Extreme Programming developer
*Tom Bruggere: engineer; later founded Mentor Graphics in 1981; 1996 candidate for United States Senate
*James B. Castles: Tektronix General Counsel; original Trustee of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
*Ward Cunningham: engineer; Extreme Programming developer, inventor of the wiki
*Dick Erath; engineer; Prominent Oregon winemaker
*Barrie Gilbert: invented the "Gilbert cell", a type of electronic mixer
*Rodgers W. Jenkins: engineer; later, with Fred Tinker, founded Rodgers Instruments LLC
*Gerry Langler: engineer; later co-founded Mentor Graphics in 1981
*Robert W. Lundeen: Director, CEO
*Steven McGeady: engineer; later Intel Vice-President and co-founder of Intel Architecture Labs
*Merrill A. McPeak: Director; former US Air Force chief of staff
*Jerome J. Meyer: former Chairman and CEO; director of Enron Corporation
*Dave Moffenbeier: engineer; later co-founded Mentor Graphics in 1981
*Norm Winningstad: engineer; founder of Floating Point Systems, author
*Rebecca Wirfs-Brock: engineer, technical lead for first commercial Smalltalk implementation, author of books on object-oriented programming
*Delbert Yocam: former President, COO; former COO of Apple Computer
*Todd Brunhoff: wrote the original imake program.

ee also

* Tektronix 4014
* Semiconductor curve tracer
* Waveform monitor / Vectorscope
* First Tech Credit Union, originally Tektronix Federal Credit Union


Further reading

* "Winning with People: The First 40 Years of Tektronix" by Marshall M. Lee. Published by Tektronix, Inc., October, 1986.

External links

* [http://www.tektronix.com/ Corporate Home Page]
* [http://www.tektronix.com.cn/ Tektronix China (Simplified Chinese 简体中文)]
* [http://www.tektronix.com/60years/ Tektronix 60th Anniversary]

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