Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics
Parent company Marvel Entertainment, LLC
(The Walt Disney Company)
Status Active
Founded 1939; 79 years ago (1939) (as Timely Comics)
1947; 71 years ago (1947) (as Magazine Management)
1961; 57 years ago (1961) (as Marvel Comics)
Founder Martin Goodman
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location 135 W. 50th Street, New York City
Distribution Diamond Comic Distributors
Hachette Client Services[1]
Key people
  • C. B. Cebulski (EIC)
  • John Nee (Publisher)
Publication types Comics/See List of Marvel Comics publications
Fiction genres
  • Superhero
  • Fantasy
  • Science fiction
  • Action
  • Adventure
Imprints imprint list
Official website

Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc., formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Worldwide’s parent company.

Marvel started in 1939 as Timely Publications, and by the early 1950s, had generally become known as Atlas Comics. The Marvel branding began in 1961, the year that the company launched The Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and many others.

Marvel counts among its characters such well-known superheroes as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Deadpool, Doctor Strange, Wolverine, Daredevil, Ghost Rider and the Punisher, such teams as the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Inhumans and the Guardians of the Galaxy, and antagonists including Thanos, Doctor Doom, Magneto, Red Skull, Green Goblin, Ultron, Doctor Octopus, Loki, Galactus, and Venom. Most of Marvel’s fictional characters operate in a single reality known as the Marvel Universe, with most locations mirroring real-life places; many major characters are based in New York City.[2]


  • 1 History

    • 1.1 Timely Publications
    • 1.2 Atlas Comics
    • 1.3 Marvel Comics
    • 1.4 Cadence Industries ownership
    • 1.5 Marvel Entertainment Group ownership
    • 1.6 Marvel Enterprises
    • 1.7 Disney conglomerate unit (2009-present)
  • 2 Officers

    • 2.1 Publishers
    • 2.2 Editors-in-chief
    • 2.3 Executive Editors
  • 3 Ownership
  • 4 Offices
  • 5 Market share
  • 6 Marvel characters in other media

    • 6.1 Games

      • 6.1.1 Collectible card games
      • 6.1.2 Role-playing
      • 6.1.3 Video games
    • 6.2 Films
    • 6.3 Live shows
    • 6.4 Prose novels
    • 6.5 Television programs
    • 6.6 Theme parks
  • 7 Imprints

    • 7.1 Defunct
  • 8 See also
  • 9 Notes
  • 10 References
  • 11 Further reading
  • 12 External links


Timely Publications

Marvel Comics #1 (Oct. 1939), the first comic from Marvel precursor Timely Comics. Cover art by Frank R. Paul.

Pulp-magazine publisher Martin Goodman founded the company later known as Marvel Comics under the name Timely Publications in 1939.[3][4] Goodman, who had started with a Western pulp in 1933, was expanding into the emerging—and by then already highly popular—new medium of comic books. Launching his new line from his existing company’s offices at 330 West 42nd Street, New York City, he officially held the titles of editor, managing editor, and business manager, with Abraham Goodman (Martin’s brother)[5] officially listed as publisher.[4]

Timely’s first publication, Marvel Comics #1 (cover dated Oct. 1939), included the first appearance of Carl Burgos’ android superhero the Human Torch, and the first appearances of Bill Everett’s anti-hero Namor the Sub-Mariner,[6] among other features.[3] The issue was a great success; it and a second printing the following month sold a combined nearly 900,000 copies.[7] While its contents came from an outside packager, Funnies, Inc.,[3] Timely had its own staff in place by the following year. The company’s first true editor, writer-artist Joe Simon, teamed with artist Jack Kirby to create one of the first patriotically themed superheroes,[8]Captain America, in Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941). It, too, proved a hit, with sales of nearly one million.[7] Goodman formed Timely Comics, Inc., beginning with comics cover-dated April 1941 or Spring 1941.[9][10]

While no other Timely character would achieve the success of these three characters, some notable heroes—many of which continue to appear in modern-day retcon appearances and flashbacks—include the Whizzer, Miss America, the Destroyer, the original Vision, and the Angel. Timely also published one of humor cartoonist Basil Wolverton’s best-known features, “Powerhouse Pepper”,[11][12] as well as a line of children’s funny-animal comics featuring characters like Super Rabbit and the duo Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal.

Goodman hired his wife’s cousin,[13] Stanley Lieber, as a general office assistant in 1939.[14] When editor Simon left the company in late 1941,[15] Goodman made Lieber—by then writing pseudonymously as “Stan Lee”—interim editor of the comics line, a position Lee kept for decades except for three years during his military service in World War II. Lee wrote extensively for Timely, contributing to a number of different titles.

Goodman’s business strategy involved having his various magazines and comic books published by a number of corporations all operating out of the same office and with the same staff.[10] One of these shell companies through which Timely Comics was published was named Marvel Comics by at least Marvel Mystery Comics #55 (May 1944). As well, some comics’ covers, such as All Surprise Comics #12 (Winter 1946–47), were labeled “A Marvel Magazine” many years before Goodman would formally adopt the name in 1961.[16]

Atlas Comics

The post-war American comic market saw superheroes falling out of fashion.[17] Goodman’s comic book line dropped them for the most part and expanded into a wider variety of genres than even Timely had published, featuring horror, Westerns, humor, funny animal, men’s adventure-drama, giant monster, crime, and war comics, and later adding jungle books, romance titles, espionage, and even medieval adventure, Bible stories and sports.

Goodman began using the globe logo of the Atlas News Company, the newsstand-distribution company he owned,[18] on comics cover-dated November 1951 even though another company, Kable News, continued to distribute his comics through the August 1952 issues.[19] This globe branding united a line put out by the same publisher, staff and freelancers through 59 shell companies, from Animirth Comics to Zenith Publications.[20]

Atlas, rather than innovate, took a proven route of following popular trends in television and movies—Westerns and war dramas prevailing for a time, drive-in movie monsters another time—and even other comic books, particularly the EC horror line.[21] Atlas also published a plethora of children’s and teen humor titles, including Dan DeCarlo’s Homer the Happy Ghost (similar to Casper the Friendly Ghost) and Homer Hooper (à la Archie Andrews). Atlas unsuccessfully attempted to revive superheroes from late 1953 to mid-1954, with the Human Torch (art by Syd Shores and Dick Ayers, variously), the Sub-Mariner (drawn and most stories written by Bill Everett), and Captain America (writer Stan Lee, artist John Romita Sr.). Atlas did not achieve any breakout hits and, according to Stan Lee, Atlas survived chiefly because it produced work quickly, cheaply, and at a passable quality.[22]

The Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961). Cover art by Jack Kirby (penciler) and unconfirmed inker.

Marvel Comics

The first modern comic books under the Marvel Comics brand were the science-fiction anthology Journey into Mystery #69 and the teen-humor title Patsy Walker #95 (both cover dated June 1961), which each displayed an “MC” box on its cover.[23] Then, in the wake of DC Comics’ success in reviving superheroes in the late 1950s and early 1960s, particularly with the Flash, Green Lantern, and other members of the team the Justice League of America, Marvel followed suit.[n 1]

In 1961, writer-editor Stan Lee revolutionized superhero comics by introducing superheroes designed to appeal to older readers than the predominantly child audiences of the medium. Modern Marvel’s first superhero team, the titular stars of The Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961),[24] broke convention with other comic book archetypes of the time by squabbling, holding grudges both deep and petty, and eschewing anonymity or secret identities in favor of celebrity status. Subsequently, Marvel comics developed a reputation for focusing on characterization and adult issues to a greater extent than most superhero comics before them, a quality which the new generation of older readers appreciated.[25] This applied to The Amazing Spider-Man title in particular, which turned out to be Marvel’s most successful book. Its young hero suffered from self-doubt and mundane problems like any other teenager, something with which many readers could identify.

Lee and freelance artist and eventual co-plotter Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four originated in a Cold War culture that led their creators to revise the superhero conventions of previous eras to better reflect the psychological spirit of their age.[26] Eschewing such comic-book tropes as secret identities and even costumes at first, having a monster as one of the heroes, and having its characters bicker and complain in what was later called a “superheroes in the real world” approach, the series represented a change that proved to be a great success.[27]

Marvel often presented flawed superheroes, freaks, and misfits—unlike the perfect, handsome, athletic heroes found in previous traditional comic books. Some Marvel heroes looked like villains and monsters such as the Hulk and the Thing. This naturalistic approach even extended into topical politics.

Comics historian Mike Benton also noted:

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In the world of [rival DC Comics’] Superman comic books, communism did not exist. Superman rarely crossed national borders or involved himself in political disputes.[28] From 1962 to 1965, there were more communists [in Marvel Comics] than on the subscription list of Pravda. Communist agents attack Ant-Man in his laboratory, red henchmen jump the Fantastic Four on the moon, and Viet Cong guerrillas take potshots at Iron Man.[29]

All of these elements struck a chord with the older readers, such as college-aged adults. In 1965, Spider-Man and the Hulk were both featured in Esquire magazine’s list of 28 college campus heroes, alongside John F. Kennedy and Bob Dylan.[30] In 2009, writer Geoff Boucher reflected that,

Superman and DC Comics instantly seemed like boring old Pat Boone; Marvel felt like The Beatles and the British Invasion. It was Kirby’s artwork with its tension and psychedelia that made it perfect for the times—or was it Lee’s bravado and melodrama, which was somehow insecure and brash at the same time?[31]

In addition to Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, Marvel began publishing further superhero titles featuring such heroes and antiheroes as the Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men, Daredevil, the Inhumans, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel and the Silver Surfer, and such memorable antagonists as Doctor Doom, Magneto, Galactus, Loki, the Green Goblin, and Doctor Octopus, all existing in a shared reality known as the Marvel Universe, with locations that mirror real-life cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Marvel even lampooned itself and other comics companies in a parody comic, Not Brand Echh (a play on Marvel’s dubbing of other companies as “Brand Echh”, à la the then-common phrase “Brand X”).[32]

The Avengers #4 (March 1964), with (from left to right), the Wasp, Giant-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and (inset) the Sub-Mariner. Cover art by Jack Kirby and George Roussos.

Cadence Industries ownership

In 1968, while selling 50 million comic books a year, company founder Goodman revised the constraining distribution arrangement with Independent News he had reached under duress during the Atlas years, allowing him now to release as many titles as demand warranted.[18] Late that year, he sold Marvel Comics and its parent company, Magazine Management, to the Perfect Film and Chemical Corporation, with Goodman remaining as publisher.[33] In 1969, Goodman finally ended his distribution deal with Independent by signing with Curtis Circulation Company.[18]

In 1971, the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare approached Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Stan Lee to do a comic book story about drug abuse. Lee agreed and wrote a three-part Spider-Man story portraying drug use as dangerous and unglamorous. However, the industry’s self-censorship board, the Comics Code Authority, refused to approve the story because of the presence of narcotics, deeming the context of the story irrelevant. Lee, with Goodman’s approval, published the story regardless in The Amazing Spider-Man #96–98 (May–July 1971), without the Comics Code seal. The market reacted well to the storyline, and the CCA subsequently revised the Code the same year.[34]

Goodman retired as publisher in 1972 and installed his son, Chip, as publisher.[35] Shortly thereafter, Lee succeeded him as publisher and also became Marvel’s president[35] for a brief time.[36] During his time as president, he appointed his associate editor, prolific writer Roy Thomas, as editor-in-chief. Thomas added “Stan Lee Presents” to the opening page of each comic book.[35]

Howard the Duck #8 (Jan. 1977). Cover art by Gene Colan and Steve Leialoha

A series of new editors-in-chief oversaw the company during another slow time for the industry. Once again, Marvel attempted to diversify, and with the updating of the Comics Code published titles themed to horror (The Tomb of Dracula), martial arts (Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu), sword-and-sorcery (Conan the Barbarian in 1970,[37]Red Sonja), satire (Howard the Duck) and science fiction (2001: A Space Odyssey, “Killraven” in Amazing Adventures, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, and, late in the decade, the long-running Star Wars series). Some of these were published in larger-format black and white magazines, under its Curtis Magazines imprint.

Marvel was able to capitalize on its successful superhero comics of the previous decade by acquiring a new newsstand distributor and greatly expanding its comics line. Marvel pulled ahead of rival DC Comics in 1972, during a time when the price and format of the standard newsstand comic were in flux.[38] Goodman increased the price and size of Marvel’s November 1971 cover-dated comics from 15 cents for 36 pages total to 25 cents for 52 pages. DC followed suit, but Marvel the following month dropped its comics to 20 cents for 36 pages, offering a lower-priced product with a higher distributor discount.[39]

In 1973, Perfect Film and Chemical renamed itself as Cadence Industries and renamed Magazine Management as Marvel Comics Group.[40] Goodman, now disconnected from Marvel, set up a new company called Seaboard Periodicals in 1974, reviving Marvel’s old Atlas name for a new Atlas Comics line, but this lasted only a year and a half.[41]
In the mid-1970s a decline of the newsstand distribution network affected Marvel. Cult hits such as Howard the Duck fell victim to the distribution problems, with some titles reporting low sales when in fact the first specialty comic book stores resold them at a later date.[citation needed] But by the end of the decade, Marvel’s fortunes were reviving, thanks to the rise of direct market distribution—selling through those same comics-specialty stores instead of newsstands.

Marvel ventured into audio in 1975 with a radio series and a record, both had Stan Lee as narrator. The radio series was Fantastic Four. The record was Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero concept album for music fans.[42]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1 (May 1984). Cover art by Mike Zeck.[43]

Marvel held its own comic book convention, Marvelcon ’75, in spring 1975, and promised a Marvelcon ’76. At the 1975 event, Stan Lee used a Fantastic Four panel discussion to announce that Jack Kirby, the artist co-creator of most of Marvel’s signature characters, was returning to Marvel after having left in 1970 to work for rival DC Comics.[44] In October 1976, Marvel, which already licensed reprints in different countries, including the UK, created a superhero specifically for the British market. Captain Britain debuted exclusively in the UK, and later appeared in American comics.[45] During this time, Marvel and the Iowa-based Register and Tribune Syndicate launched a number of syndicated comic strips — The Amazing Spider-Man, Howard the Duck, Conan the Barbarian, and The Incredible Hulk. None of the strips lasted past 1982, except for The Amazing Spider-Man, which is still being published.

In 1978, Jim Shooter became Marvel’s editor-in-chief. Although a controversial personality, Shooter cured many of the procedural ills at Marvel, including repeatedly missed deadlines. During Shooter’s nine-year tenure as editor-in-chief, Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s run on the Uncanny X-Men and Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil became critical and commercial successes.[46] Shooter brought Marvel into the rapidly evolving direct market,[47] institutionalized creator royalties, starting with the Epic Comics imprint for creator-owned material in 1982; introduced company-wide crossover story arcs with Contest of Champions and Secret Wars; and in 1986 launched the ultimately unsuccessful New Universe line to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Marvel Comics imprint. Star Comics, a children-oriented line differing from the regular Marvel titles, was briefly successful during this period.

Marvel Entertainment Group ownership

In 1986, Marvel’s parent, Marvel Entertainment Group, was sold to New World Entertainment, which within three years sold it to MacAndrews and Forbes, owned by Revlon executive Ronald Perelman in 1989. In 1991 Perelman took MEG public. Following the rapid rise of this stock, Perelman issued a series of junk bonds that he used to acquire other entertainment companies, secured by MEG stock.[48]

Marvel’s logo, circa 1990s.

Marvel earned a great deal of money with their 1980s children’s comics imprint Star Comics and they earned a great deal more money and worldwide success during the comic book boom of the early 1990s, launching the successful 2099 line of comics set in the future (Spider-Man 2099, etc.) and the creatively daring though commercially unsuccessful Razorline imprint of superhero comics created by novelist and filmmaker Clive Barker.[49][50] In 1990, Marvel began selling Marvel Universe Cards with trading card maker SkyBox International. These were collectible trading cards that featured the characters and events of the Marvel Universe. The 1990s saw the rise of variant covers, cover enhancements, swimsuit issues, and company-wide crossovers that affected the overall continuity of the Marvel Universe.

Spider-Man #1, later renamed “Peter Parker: Spider-Man” (August 1990; second printing). Cover art by Todd McFarlane.

Marvel suffered a blow in early 1992, when seven of its most prized artists — Todd McFarlane (known for his work on Spider-Man), Jim Lee (X-Men), Rob Liefeld (X-Force), Marc Silvestri (Wolverine), Erik Larsen (The Amazing Spider-Man), Jim Valentino (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Whilce Portacio (Uncanny X-Men) — left to form Image Comics[51] in a deal brokered by Malibu Comics’ owner Scott Mitchell Rosenberg.[52] Three years later Rosenberg sold Malibu to Marvel on November 3, 1994,[53][54][55] who acquired the then-leading standard for computer coloring of comic books (developed by Rosenberg) in the process,[56] but also integrating the Ultraverse into Marvel’s multiverse and ownership of the Genesis Universe.

In late 1994, Marvel acquired the comic book distributor Heroes World Distribution to use as its own exclusive distributor.[57] As the industry’s other major publishers made exclusive distribution deals with other companies, the ripple effect resulted in the survival of only one other major distributor in North America, Diamond Comic Distributors Inc.[58][59] Then, by the middle of the decade, the industry had slumped, and in December 1996 MEG filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[48] In early 1997, when Marvel’s Heroes World endeavor failed, Diamond also forged an exclusive deal with Marvel[60]—giving the company its own section of its comics catalog Previews.[61]

In 1996, Marvel had some of its titles participate in “Heroes Reborn”, a crossover that allowed Marvel to relaunch some of its flagship characters such as the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, and outsource them to the studios of two of the former Marvel artists turned Image Comics founders, Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld. The relaunched titles, which saw the characters transported to a parallel universe with a history distinct from the mainstream Marvel Universe, were a solid success amidst a generally struggling industry,[62] but Marvel discontinued the experiment after a one-year run and returned the characters to the Marvel Universe proper.

Marvel Enterprises

In 1997, Toy Biz bought Marvel Entertainment Group to end the bankruptcy, forming a new corporation, Marvel Enterprises.[48] With his business partner Avi Arad, publisher Bill Jemas, and editor-in-chief Bob Harras, Toy Biz co-owner Isaac Perlmutter helped stabilize the comics line.[63]

In 1998, the company launched the imprint Marvel Knights, taking place just outside Marvel continuity with better production qualtity. The imprint was helmed by soon-to-become editor-in-chief Joe Quesada; it featured tough, gritty stories showcasing such characters as the Daredevil,[64]Inhumans and Black Panther.

With the new millennium, Marvel Comics emerged from bankruptcy and again began diversifying its offerings. In 2001, Marvel withdrew from the Comics Code Authority and established its own Marvel Rating System for comics. The first title from this era to not have the code was X-Force #119 (October 2001). Marvel also created new imprints, such as MAX (an explicit-content line) and Marvel Adventures (developed for child audiences). In addition, the company created an alternate universe imprint, Ultimate Marvel, that allowed the company to reboot its major titles by revising and updating its characters to introduce to a new generation.

Some of its characters have been turned into successful film franchises, such as the Men in Black movie series, starting in 1997, Blade movie series, starting in 1998, X-Men movie series, starting in 2000, and the highest grossing series Spider-Man, beginning in 2002.[65]

Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian title stopped in 1993 after 275 issues. The Savage Sword of Conan magazine had 235 issues. Marvel published additional titles including miniseries until 2000 for a total of 650 issues. Conan was pick up by Dark Horse three years later.[37]

In a cross-promotion, the November 1, 2006, episode of the CBS soap opera The Guiding Light, titled “She’s a Marvel”, featured the character Harley Davidson Cooper (played by Beth Ehlers) as a superheroine named the Guiding Light.[66] The character’s story continued in an eight-page backup feature, “A New Light”, that appeared in several Marvel titles published November 1 and 8.[67] Also that year, Marvel created a wiki on its Web site.[68]

In late 2007 the company launched Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, a digital archive of over 2,500 back issues available for viewing, for a monthly or annual subscription fee.[69]

In 2009 Marvel Comics closed its Open Submissions Policy, in which the company had accepted unsolicited samples from aspiring comic book artists, saying the time-consuming review process had produced no suitably professional work.[70] The same year, the company commemorated its 70th anniversary, dating to its inception as Timely Comics, by issuing the one-shot Marvel Mystery Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1 and a variety of other special issues.[71][72]

Disney conglomerate unit (2009-present)

Writers of Marvel titles in the 2010s include (seated left to right) Ed Brubaker, Christos Gage, Matt Fraction, and Brian Michael Bendis.

On August 31, 2009, The Walt Disney Company announced a deal to acquire Marvel Comics’ parent corporation, Marvel Entertainment, for $4 billion[73] or $4.2 billion,[74] with Marvel shareholders to receive $30 and 0.745 Disney shares for each share of Marvel they own.[73] As of 2008, Marvel and its major, longtime competitor DC Comics shared over 80% of the American comic-book market.[75] As of September 2010, Marvel switched its bookstores distribution company from Diamond Book Distributors to Hachette Distribution Services.[76]

Marvel relaunched the CrossGen imprint, owned by Disney Publishing Worldwide, in March 2011.[77] Marvel and Disney Publishing began jointly publishing Disney/Pixar Presents magazine that May.[78]

Marvel discontinued its Marvel Adventures imprint in March 2012,[79] and replaced them with a line of two titles connected to the Marvel Universe TV block.[80] Also in March, Marvel announced its Marvel ReEvolution initiative that included Infinite Comics,[81] a line of digital comics, Marvel AR, an application software that provides an augmented reality experience to readers and Marvel NOW!, a relaunch of most of the company’s major titles with different creative teams.[82][83] Marvel NOW! also saw the debut of new flagship titles including Uncanny Avengers and All-New X-Men.[84]

In April 2013, Marvel and other Disney conglomerate components began announcing joint projects. With ABC, a Once Upon a Time graphic novel was announced for publication in September.[85] With Disney, Marvel announced in October 2013 that in January 2014 it would release its first title under their joint “Disney Kingdoms” imprint “Seekers of the Weird”, a five-issue miniseries.[74] On January 3, 2014, fellow Disney subsidiary Lucasfilm announced that as of 2015, Star Wars comics would once again be published by Marvel.[86]

Following the events of the company-wide crossover “Secret Wars” in 2015, a relaunched Marvel universe began in September 2015, called the All-New, All-Different Marvel.[87]

Marvel Legacy was the company’s Fall 2017 relaunch banner starting in September. The banner had comics with lenticular variant covers which required comic book stores to double their regular issue order to be able to order the variants. The owner of two Comix Experience stores complained about the set up of forcing retailers to be stuck with copies they cannot sell for the variant that they can sell. With other complaints too, Marvel did adjust down requirements for new titles no adjustment was made for any other. Thusforthly and at least 70 other comic book stores were boycotting these variant covers.[88] With a handful of Marvel movies, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Logan, Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: Homecoming, in theaters, none of those characters’ titles were in the top 10 and even the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series was canceled. Thus films do not affect comic book sales.[89] Conan Properties International announced on January 12, 2018 that Conan would return to Marvel in early 2019.[37]

On January 19, 2018, Joshua Yehl, editor of, speculated on potential changes if Disney’s Proposed acquisition of 21st Century Fox goes through. He expects Fox franchises licensed out to other firms would be moved to Marvel and that Fox’s Marvel film properties would be treated better by the publishing division.[90] However, Marvel had licensed Archie Comics to publish Marvel Digests collections for the newsstand market.[91] While Disney has licensed IDW Publishing to produce the classic, all-ages Disney comics since the Marvel purchase[92] and a Big Hero 6 comic book to go along with the TV series despite the fact that the Disney movie was based on a Marvel Comic book. Then on July 17, 2018, Marvel Entertainment announced the licensing of Marvel characters to IDW for a line of middle-grade reader market comic books to start publishing in November 2018.[91]


  • Michael Z. Hobson, executive vice president;[93] Marvel Comics Group vice-president (1986)[94]
  • Stan Lee, Chairman and Publisher (1986)[94]
  • Joseph Calamari, executive vice president (1986)[94]
  • Jim Shooter, vice president and Editor-in-Chief (1986)[94]


  • Abraham Goodman, 1939[4]–?
  • Martin Goodman, 1939–1972[35]
  • Charles “Chip” Goodman 1972[35]
  • Stan Lee, 1972 – October 1996[35][36][93]
  • Shirrel Rhoades, October 1996 – October 1998[93]
  • Winston Fowlkes, February 1998 – November 1999[93]
  • Bill Jemas, February 2000 – 2003[93]
  • Dan Buckley, 2003–[95] 2018
  • John Nee, 2018–present[96]


Marvel’s chief editor originally held the title of “editor”. This head editor’s title later became “editor-in-chief”. Joe Simon was the company’s first true chief-editor, with publisher Martin Goodman, who had served as titular editor only and outsourced editorial operations.

In 1994 Marvel briefly abolished the position of editor-in-chief, replacing Tom DeFalco with five group editors-in-chief. As Carl Potts described the 1990s editorial arrangement:

In the early ’90s, Marvel had so many titles that there were three Executive Editors, each overseeing approximately 1/3 of the line. Bob Budiansky was the third Executive Editor [following the previously appointed Mark Gruenwald and Potts]. We all answered to Editor-in-Chief Tom DeFalco and Publisher Mike Hobson. All three Executive Editors decided not to add our names to the already crowded credits on the Marvel titles. Therefore it wasn’t easy for readers to tell which titles were produced by which Executive Editor … In late ’94, Marvel reorganized into a number of different publishing divisions, each with its own Editor-in-Chief.[97]

Marvel reinstated the overall editor-in-chief position in 1995 with Bob Harras.

Executive Editors

Originally called associate editor when Marvel’s chief editor just carried the title of editor, the title of the next highest editorial position became executive editor under the chief editor title of editor-in-chief. The title of associate editor later was revived under the editor-in-chief as an editorial position in charge of few titles under the direction of an editor and without an assistant editor.

Associate Editor
  • Chris Claremont,[citation needed] ?–1976
  • Jim Shooter, January 5, 1976 – January 2, 1978[99]
Executive Editor
  • Tom DeFalco, 1987
  • Mark Gruenwald, 1987–1994, senior editor: 1995–1996
  • Carl Potts, Epic 1989–1994,[97] 1995–
  • Bob Budiansky, early ’90s – 1994[97]
  • Bobbie Chase, 1995–2001
  • Tom Brevoort, 2007–present[100]
  • Axel Alonso, 2010 – January 2011[101]


  • Martin Goodman (1939–1968)
Parent corporation
  • Magazine Management Co. (1968–1973)
  • Cadence Industries (1973–1986)
  • Marvel Entertainment Group (1986–1998)
  • Marvel Enterprises

    • Marvel Enterprises, Inc. (1998–2005)
    • Marvel Entertainment, Inc (2005–2009)
    • Marvel Entertainment, LLC (2009–present, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company)


Located in New York City, Marvel has had successive headquarters:

  • in the McGraw-Hill Building,[4][102] where it originated as Timely Comics in 1939
  • in suite 1401 of the Empire State Building[102]
  • at 635 Madison Avenue (the actual location, though the comic books’ indicia listed the parent publishing-company’s address of 625 Madison Ave.)[102]
  • 575 Madison Avenue;[102]
  • 387 Park Avenue South[102]
  • 10 East 40th Street[102]
  • 417 Fifth Avenue[102]
  • a 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) space at 135 W. 50th Street[103][104]

Market share

In 2017, Marvel held a 38.30% share of the comics market, compared to its competitor DC Comics’ 33.93%.[105] By comparison, the companies respectively held 33.50% and 30.33% shares in 2013, and 40.81% and 29.94% shares in 2008.[106]

Marvel characters in other media

Marvel characters and stories have been adapted to many other media. Some of these adaptations were produced by Marvel Comics and its sister company, Marvel Studios, while others were produced by companies licensing Marvel material.


In June 1993, Marvel issued its collectable caps for milk caps game under the Hero Caps brand.[107] In 2014, the Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers Japanese TV series was launched together with a collectible game called Bachicombat, a game similar to the milk caps game, by Bandai.[108]

Collectible card games

The RPG industry brought the development of the collectible card game (CCG) in the early 1990s which there were soon Marvel characters were featured in CCG of their own starting in 1995 with Fleer’s OverPower (1995–1999). Later collectible card game were:

  • Marvel Superstars (2010–?) Upper Deck Company
  • ReCharge Collectible Card Game (2001–? ) Marvel
  • Vs. System (2004–2009, 2014–) Upper Deck Company
  • X-Men Trading Card Game (2000–?) Wizards of the Coast


TSR published the pen-and-paper role-playing game Marvel Super Heroes in 1984. TSR then released in 1998 the Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game which used a different system, the card-based SAGA system, than their first game. In 2003 Marvel Publishing published its own role-playing game, the Marvel Universe Roleplaying Game, that used a diceless stone pool system.[109] In August 2011 Margaret Weis Productions announced it was developing a tabletop role-playing game based on the Marvel universe, set for release in February 2012 using its house Cortex Plus RPG system.[110]

Video games

Video games based on Marvel characters go back to 1984 and the Atari game, Spider-Man. Since then several dozen video games have been released and all have been produced by outside licensees. In 2014, Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes was released that brought Marvel characters to the existing Disney sandbox video game.


As of the start of September 2015, films based on Marvel’s properties represent the highest-grossing U.S. franchise, having grossed over $7.7 billion [111] as part of a worldwide gross of over $18 billion.

Live shows

  • The Marvel Experience (2014–)
  • Marvel Universe Live! (2014–) live arena show
  • Spider-Man Live! (2002–2003)
  • Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (2011–2014) a Broadway musical

Prose novels

Marvel first licensed two prose novels to Bantam Books, who printed The Avengers Battle the Earth Wrecker by Otto Binder (1967) and Captain America: The Great Gold Steal by Ted White (1968). Various publishers took up the licenses from 1978 to 2002. Also, with the various licensed films being released beginning in 1997, various publishers put out movie novelizations.[112] In 2003, following publication of the prose young adult novel Mary Jane, starring Mary Jane Watson from the Spider-Man mythos, Marvel announced the formation of the publishing imprint Marvel Press.[113] However, Marvel moved back to licensing with Pocket Books from 2005 to 2008.[112] With few books issued under the imprint, Marvel and Disney Books Group relaunched Marvel Press in 2011 with the Marvel Origin Storybooks line.[114]

Television programs

Many television series, both live-action and animated, have based their productions on Marvel Comics characters. These include series for popular characters such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, the Avengers, the X-Men, Fantastic Four, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, the Punisher, the Defenders, S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, Deadpool, Legion, and others. Additionally, a handful of television movies, usually also pilots, based on Marvel Comics characters have been made.

Theme parks

Marvel has licensed its characters for theme parks and attractions, including Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure[115] in Orlando, Florida, which includes rides based on their iconic characters and costumed performers, as well as The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride cloned from Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios Japan.[116]

Years after Disney purchased Marvel in late 2009, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts plans on creating original Marvel attractions at their theme parks,[117][118] with Hong Kong Disneyland becoming the first Disney theme park to feature a Marvel attraction.[119][120] Due to the licensing agreement with Universal Studios, signed prior to Disney’s purchase of Marvel, Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disney are barred from having Marvel characters in their parks.[121] However, this only includes characters that Universal is currently using, other characters in their “families” (X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, etc.), and the villains associated with said characters.[115] This clause has allowed Walt Disney World to have meet and greets, merchandise, attractions and more with other Marvel characters not associated with the characters at Islands of Adventures, such as Star-Lord and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy.[122][123]


  • Disney Kingdoms[74]
  • Marvel Comics
  • Marvel Press, joint imprint with Disney Books Group
  • Icon Comics (creator owned)
  • Infinite Comics
  • Timely Comics


  • Amalgam Comics
  • CrossGen
  • Curtis Magazines/Marvel Magazine Group
    • Awesome Entertainment
    • Marvel Monsters Group
  • Epic Comics (creator owned) (1982–2004)
  • Malibu Comics (1994–1997)
  • Marvel 2099 (1992–1998)
  • Marvel Absurd
  • Marvel Age/Adventures
  • Marvel Books
  • Marvel Edge
  • Marvel Knights
  • Marvel Illustrated
  • Marvel Mangaverse
  • Marvel Music
  • Marvel Next
  • Marvel Noir
  • Marvel UK

    • Marvel Frontier
  • MAX
  • MC2
  • New Universe
  • Paramount Comics (co-owned with Viacom’s Paramount Pictures)
  • Razorline
  • Star Comics
  • Tsunami
  • Ultimate Comics

See also

  • List of Marvel Comics characters
  • Lists of Marvel Comics publications
  • List of current Marvel Comics publications
  • List of magazines released by Marvel Comics in the 1970s
  • List of comics characters which originated in other media
  • Aircel Comics
  • Atlas Comics
  • Atlas/Seaboard Comics
  • Eternity Comics
  • Icon Comics
  • Malibu Comics
  • Panini Comics
  • Soleil Productions
  • DC Comics


  1. ^ Apocryphal legend has it that in 1961, either Jack Liebowitz or Irwin Donenfeld of DC Comics (then known as National Periodical Publications) bragged about DC’s success with the Justice League (which had debuted in The Brave and the Bold #28 [February 1960] before going on to its own title) to publisher Martin Goodman (whose holdings included the nascent Marvel Comics) during a game of golf.

    However, film producer and comics historian Michael Uslan partly debunked the story in a letter published in Alter Ego #43 (December 2004), pp. 43–44

    Irwin said he never played golf with Goodman, so the story is untrue. I heard this story more than a couple of times while sitting in the lunchroom at DC’s 909 Third Avenue and 75 Rockefeller Plaza office as Sol Harrison and [production chief] Jack Adler were schmoozing with some of us … who worked for DC during our college summers…. [T]he way I heard the story from Sol was that Goodman was playing with one of the heads of Independent News, not DC Comics (though DC owned Independent News). … As the distributor of DC Comics, this man certainly knew all the sales figures and was in the best position to tell this tidbit to Goodman. … Of course, Goodman would want to be playing golf with this fellow and be in his good graces. … Sol worked closely with Independent News’ top management over the decades and would have gotten this story straight from the horse’s mouth.

    Goodman, a publishing trend-follower aware of the JLA’s strong sales, confirmably directed his comics editor, Stan Lee, to create a comic-book series about a team of superheroes. According to Lee in Origins of Marvel Comics (Simon and Schuster/Fireside Books, 1974), p. 16:
    “Martin mentioned that he had noticed one of the titles published by National Comics seemed to be selling better than most. It was a book called The [sic] Justice League of America and it was composed of a team of superheroes. … ‘ If the Justice League is selling ‘, spoke he, ‘why don’t we put out a comic book that features a team of superheroes?'”


  1. ^ Hachette – Our Clients
  2. ^ Sanderson, Peter (November 20, 2007). The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City. Gallery Books.
  3. ^ abc Postal indicia in issue, per Marvel Comics #1 [1st printing] (October 1939) at the Grand Comics Database: “Vol.1, No.1, MARVEL COMICS, Oct, 1939 Published monthly by Timely Publications, … Art and editorial by Funnies Incorporated…”
  4. ^ abcde Per statement of ownership, dated October 2, 1939, published in Marvel Mystery Comics #4 (Feb. 1940), p. 40; reprinted in Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Marvel Comics Volume 1 (Marvel Comics, 2004, .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
    ISBN 0-7851-1609-5), p. 239
  5. ^ Bell, Blake; Vassallo, Michael J. (2013). The Secret History of Marvel Comics: Jack Kirby and the Moonlighting Artists at Martin Goodman’s Empire. Fantagraphics Books. p. 299. ISBN 1-60699-552-9.
  6. ^ Writer-artist Bill Everett’s Sub-Mariner had actually been created for an undistributed movie-theater giveaway comic, Motion Picture Funnies Weekly earlier that year, with the previously unseen, eight-page original story expanded by four pages for Marvel Comics #1.
  7. ^ ab Per researcher Keif Fromm, Alter Ego #49, p. 4 (caption), Marvel Comics #1, cover-dated October 1939, quickly sold out 80,000 copies, prompting Goodman to produce a second printing, cover-dated November 1939. The latter appears identical except for a black bar over the October date in the inside front-cover indicia, and the November date added at the end. That sold approximately 800,000 copies—a large figure in the market of that time. Also per Fromm, the first issue of Captain America Comics sold nearly one million copies.
  8. ^ Goulart, Ron (2000). Comic book culture: an illustrated history. Collectors Press, Inc. p. 173. ISBN 978-1-888054-38-5.. Preceding Captain America were MLJ Comics’ the Shield and Fawcett Comics’ Minute-Man.
  9. ^ “Marvel : Timely Publications (Indicia Publisher)” at the Grand Comics Database. “This is the original business name under which Martin Goodman began publishing comics in 1939. It was used on all issues up to and including those cover-dated March 1941 or Winter 1940–1941, spanning the period from Marvel Comics #1 to Captain America Comics #1. It was replaced by Timely Comics, Inc. starting with all issues cover-dated April 1941 or Spring 1941.”
  10. ^ ab Daniels, Les (1991). Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World’s Greatest Comics. New York City: Harry N. Abrams. pp. 27, 32–33. ISBN 0-8109-3821-9. Timely Publications became the name under which Goodman first published a comic book line. He eventually created a number of companies to publish comics … but Timely was the name by which Goodman’s Golden Age comics were known. . . . Marvel wasn’t always Marvel; in the early 1940s the company was known as Timely Comics….
  11. ^ “GCD :: Story Search Results”.
  12. ^ A Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Comics. Smithsonian Institution/Harry N. Abrams. 1981.
  13. ^ Lee, Stan; Mair, George (2002). Excelsior!: The Amazing Life of Stan Lee. Fireside Books. p. 22. ISBN 0-684-87305-2.
  14. ^ Simon, Joe; with Simon, Jim (1990). The Comic Book Makers. Crestwood/II Publications. p. 208. ISBN 1-887591-35-4.
  15. ^ Simon, Joe (2011). Joe Simon: My Life in Comics. London, UK: Titan Books. pp. 113–114. ISBN 978-1-84576-930-7.
  16. ^ Cover, All Surprise Comics #12 at the Grand Comics Database
  17. ^ Wright, Bradford W. (2001). Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America. The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-8018-6514-5.
  18. ^ abc “Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc.”. International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 10. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale / St. James Press, via 1995. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  19. ^ Marvel : Atlas [wireframe globe] (Brand) at the Grand Comics Database
  20. ^ “Marvel Indicia Publishers”. Grand Comics Database.
  21. ^ Per Les Daniels in Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World’s Greatest Comics, pp. 67–68: “The success of EC had a definite influence on Marvel. As Stan Lee recalls, ‘Martin Goodman would say, “Stan, let’s do a different kind of book,” and it was usually based on how the competition was doing. When we found that EC’s horror books were doing well, for instance, we published a lot of horror books'”.
  22. ^ Boatz, Darrel L. (December 1988). “Stan Lee”. Comics Interview (64). Fictioneer Books. pp. 15–16.
  23. ^ Marvel : MC (Brand) at the Grand Comics Database.
  24. ^ “Fantastic Four”. Grand Comics Database.
  25. ^ Roberts, Randy; Olson, James S. (1998). American Experiences: Readings in American History: Since 1865 (4 ed.). Addison–Wesley. p. 317. ISBN 978-0-321-01031-5. Marvel Comics employed a realism in both characterization and setting in its superhero titles that was unequaled in the comic book industry.
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  27. ^ Comics historian Greg Theakston has suggested that the decision to include monsters and initially to distance the new breed of superheroes from costumes was a conscious one, and born of necessity. Since DC distributed Marvel’s output at the time, Theakston theorizes that, “Goodman and Lee decided to keep their superhero line looking as much like their horror line as they possibly could,” downplaying “the fact that [Marvel] was now creating heroes” with the effect that they ventured “into deeper waters, where DC had never considered going”. See Ro, pp. 87–88
  28. ^ Benton, Mike (1991). Superhero Comics of the Silver Age: The Illustrated History. Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing Company. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-87833-746-0.
  29. ^ Benton, p. 38.
  30. ^ Howe, Sean (2012). Marvel Comics: The Untold Story. New York, NY: HarperCollins. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-06-199210-0.
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  33. ^ Daniels, Les (September 1991). Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World’s Greatest Comics, Harry N Abrams. p. 139.
  34. ^ Nyberg, Amy Kiste (1994). Seal of Approval: The Origins and History of the Comics Code. University Press of Mississippi. p. 170. ISBN 9781604736632.
  35. ^ abcdef Ro, Ronin (2004). Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and the American Comic Book Revolution. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 179.
  36. ^ ab Lee, Mair, p. 5.
  37. ^ abc Wickline, Dan (January 12, 2018). “Conan the Barbarian Returns to Marvel Comics – Bleeding Cool News”. Bleeding Cool News And Rumors. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  38. ^ Levitz, Paul (2010). 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Taschen America. p. 451. ISBN 978-3-8365-1981-6. Marvel took advantage of this moment to surpass DC in title production for the first time since 1957, and in sales for the first time ever.
  39. ^ Daniels, Marvel, pp.154–155
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  44. ^ Bullpen Bulletins: “The King is Back! ‘Nuff Said!”, in Marvel Comics cover dated October 1975, including Fantastic Four #163
  45. ^ Specific series- and issue-dates in article are collectively per GCD and other databases given under References
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  61. ^ Duin, Steve and Richardson, Mike (ed.s) “Diamond Comic Distributors” in Comics Between the Panels (Dark Horse Publishing, 1998)
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Further reading

.mw-parser-output .refbegin{font-size:90%;margin-bottom:0.5em}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>ul{list-style-type:none;margin-left:0}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>ul>li,.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>dl>dd{margin-left:0;padding-left:3.2em;text-indent:-3.2em;list-style:none}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-100{font-size:100%}

  • George, Milo (2001). Jack Kirby: The TCJ Interviews. Fantagraphics Books. ISBN 1-56097-434-6.
  • Howe, Sean (2012). Marvel Comics: the Untold Story. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-199210-0.
  • Jones, Gerard (2004). Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book. Basic Books,. ISBN 0-465-03657-0.
  • Lupoff, Dick; Thompson, Don (1997). All in Color for a Dime. Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-498-5.
  • Steranko, James. The Steranko History of Comics. 1. ISBN 0-517-50188-0.

External links

  • Media related to Marvel Comics at Wikimedia Commons
  • Official website Edit this at Wikidata
  • Vassallo, Michael J. (2005). “A Timely Talk with Allen Bellman”. p. 2. Archived from the original on November 25, 2009..


Coordinates: 37°24′49″N 122°08′42″W / 37.4136°N 122.1451°W / 37.4136; -122.1451

Hewlett-Packard Company
Former type
Traded as NYSE: HPQ
Industry Computer hardware
Computer software
IT services
IT consulting
Fate Renamed as HP Inc.
Successor HP Inc.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Founded January 1, 1939; 79 years ago (1939-01-01)
  • Bill Hewlett
  • David Packard
Defunct November 1, 2015 (2015-11-01) (main company) (For Hewlett Packard Enterprise). Now operating as HP Inc.
Palo Alto, California


Area served
Products See list of HP products.
Subsidiaries List of subsidiaries
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The Hewlett-Packard Company (commonly referred to as HP, and stylized as hp) or Hewlett-Packard (/ˈhjuːlɪt ˈpækərd/ HEW-lit PAK-ərd) was an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Palo Alto, California. It developed and provided a wide variety of hardware components as well as software and related services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health and education sectors.

The company was founded in a one-car garage in Palo Alto by Bill Hewlett and David Packard, and initially produced a line of electronic test equipment. HP was the world’s leading PC manufacturer from 2007 to Q2 2013, after which Lenovo came to rank ahead of HP.[1][2][3] It specialized in developing and manufacturing computing, data storage, and networking hardware, designing software and delivering services. Major product lines included personal computing devices, enterprise and industry standard servers, related storage devices, networking products, software and a diverse range of printers and other imaging products. HP marketed its products to households, small- to medium-sized businesses and enterprises directly as well as via online distribution, consumer-electronics and office-supply retailers, software partners and major technology vendors. HP also had services and consulting business around its products and partner products.

Hewlett-Packard company events included the spin-off of its electronic and bio-analytical measurement instruments part of its business as Agilent Technologies in 1999, its merger with Compaq in 2002, and the acquisition of EDS in 2008, which led to combined revenues of $118.4 billion in 2008 and a Fortune 500 ranking of 9 in 2009. In November 2009, HP announced the acquisition of 3Com,[4] with the deal closing on April 12, 2010.[5] On April 28, 2010, HP announced the buyout of Palm, Inc. for $1.2 billion.[6] On September 2, 2010, HP won its bidding war for 3PAR with a $33 a share offer ($2.07 billion), which Dell declined to match.[7]

Hewlett-Packard split the PC and printers business from its enterprise products and services business on November 1, 2015, resulting in two publicly traded companies: HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.[8] In 2017, Hewlett Packard Enterprise spun-off its Enterprises Services division as DXC Technology and its Software division to Micro Focus.


  • 1 History

    • 1.1 1960s
    • 1.2 1970s
    • 1.3 1980s
    • 1.4 1990s

      • 1.4.1 Sales to Iran despite sanctions
    • 1.5 2000–2005
    • 1.6 2006–2009
    • 1.7 2010–2012
    • 1.8 2013–2015
  • 2 Facilities
  • 3 Products and organizational structure
  • 4 Staff and culture

    • 4.1 Notable people
  • 5 Corporate social responsibility
  • 6 Brand
  • 7 Controversies

    • 7.1 Restatement
    • 7.2 Spying scandal
    • 7.3 Hardware
    • 7.4 Lawsuit against Oracle
    • 7.5 Takeover of Autonomy
    • 7.6 Israeli settlements
    • 7.7 Bribery
  • 8 See also
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links


The garage in Palo Alto where Hewlett and Packard began their company

Hewlett-Packard logo used from 1941 to 1964

Bill Hewlett and David Packard graduated with degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1935. The company originated in a garage in nearby Palo Alto during a fellowship they had with a past professor, Frederick Terman at Stanford during the Great Depression. Terman was considered a mentor to them in forming Hewlett-Packard.[9] In 1938, Packard and Hewlett begin part-time work in a rented garage with an initial capital investment of US$538. In 1939 Hewlett and Packard decided to formalize their partnership. They tossed a coin to decide whether the company they founded would be called Hewlett-Packard (HP) or Packard-Hewlett.[10] HP incorporated on August 18, 1947, and went public on November 6, 1957.

Of the many projects they worked on, their very first financially successful product was a precision audio oscillator, the Model HP200A. Their innovation was the use of a small incandescent light bulb (known as a “pilot light”) as a temperature dependent resistor in a critical portion of the circuit, the negative feedback loop which stabilized the amplitude of the output sinusoidal waveform. This allowed them to sell the Model 200A for $89.40 when competitors were selling less stable oscillators for over $200. The Model 200 series of generators continued until at least 1972 as the 200AB, still tube-based but improved in design through the years.

One of the company’s earliest customers was Walt Disney Productions which bought eight Model 200B oscillators (at $71.50 each) for use in certifying the Fantasound surround sound systems installed in theaters for the movie Fantasia.

They worked on counter-radar technology and artillery shell fuses during World War II, which allowed Packard (but not Hewlett) to be exempt from the draft.[11]


The HP200A, a precision audio oscillator, was the company’s very first financially successful product.

HP is recognized as the symbolic founder of Silicon Valley, although it did not actively investigate semiconductor devices until a few years after the “traitorous eight” had abandoned William Shockley to create Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957. Hewlett-Packard’s HP Associates division, established around 1960, developed semiconductor devices primarily for internal use. Instruments and calculators were some of the products using these devices.

HP partnered in the 1960s with Sony and the Yokogawa Electric companies in Japan to develop several high-quality products. The products were not a huge success, as there were high costs in building HP-looking products in Japan. HP and Yokogawa formed a joint venture (Yokogawa-Hewlett-Packard) in 1963 to market HP products in Japan.[12] HP bought Yokogawa Electric’s share of Hewlett-Packard Japan in 1999.[13]

HP spun off a small company, Dynac, to specialize in digital equipment. The name was picked so that the HP logo “hp” could be turned upside down to be a reverse reflect image of the logo “dy” of the new company. Eventually Dynac changed to Dymec, then was folded back into HP in 1959.[14] HP experimented with using Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) minicomputers with its instruments, but after deciding that it would be easier to build another small design team than deal with DEC, HP entered the computer market in 1966 with the HP 2100 / HP 1000 series of minicomputers. These had a simple accumulator-based design, with registers arranged somewhat similarly to the Intel x86 architecture still used today. The series was produced for 20 years, in spite of several attempts to replace it, and was a forerunner of the HP 9800 and HP 250 series of desktop and business computers.


Hewlett-Packard logo used from 1964 to 1979

The HP 3000 was an advanced stack-based design for a business computing server, later redesigned with RISC technology. The HP 2640 series of smart and intelligent terminals introduced forms-based interfaces to ASCII terminals, and also introduced screen labeled function keys, now commonly used on gas pumps and bank ATMs. The HP 2640 series included one of the first bit mapped graphics displays that when combined with the HP 2100 21MX F-Series microcoded Scientific Instruction Set[15] enabled the first commercial WYSIWYG Presentation Program, BRUNO that later became the program HP-Draw on the HP 3000. Although scoffed at in the formative days of computing, HP would eventually surpass even IBM as the world’s largest technology vendor, in terms of sales.[16]

Introduced in 1968, “The new Hewlett-Packard 9100A personal computer is ready, willing, and able … to relieve you of waiting to get on the big computer.”

Although Programma 101 was the first commercial “desktop computer”, HP is identified by Wired magazine as the producer of the world’s first device to be called a personal computer, the Hewlett-Packard 9100A, introduced in 1968.[17] Programma 101 was called “computer personale” (in Italian), at Fiera di Milano, 1966.[18] HP called it a desktop calculator, because, as Bill Hewlett said, “If we had called it a computer, it would have been rejected by our customers’ computer gurus because it didn’t look like an IBM. We therefore decided to call it a calculator, and all such nonsense disappeared.” An engineering triumph at the time, the logic circuit was produced without any integrated circuits; the assembly of the CPU having been entirely executed in discrete components. With CRT display, magnetic-card storage, and printer, the price was around $5,000. The machine’s keyboard was a cross between that of a scientific calculator and an adding machine. There was no alphabetic keyboard.

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, originally designed the Apple I computer while working at HP and offered it to them under their right of first refusal to his work, but they did not take it up as the company wanted to stay in scientific, business, and industrial markets. Wozniak said that HP “turned him down 5 times”, but that his loyalty to HP made him hesitant to start Apple with Steve Jobs.[19]

The company earned global respect for a variety of products. They introduced the world’s first handheld scientific electronic calculator in 1972 (the HP-35), the first handheld programmable in 1974 (the HP-65), the first alphanumeric, programmable, expandable in 1979 (the HP-41C), and the first symbolic and graphing calculator, the HP-28C. Like their scientific and business calculators, their oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, and other measurement instruments have a reputation for sturdiness and usability (the latter products are now part of spin-off Agilent’s product line, which were later spun-off from Agilent as Keysight Technologies).[20] The company’s design philosophy in this period was summarized as “design for the guy at the next bench”.[citation needed]

The 98×5 series of technical desktop computers started in 1975 with the 9815, and the cheaper 80 series, again of technical computers, started in 1979 with the 85.[21] These machines used a version of the BASIC programming language which was available immediately after they were switched on, and used a proprietary magnetic tape for storage. HP computers were similar in capabilities to the much later IBM Personal Computer, although the limitations of available technology forced prices to be high.[citation needed]


Hewlett-Packard logo used from 1979 to 2010

Logo with the word “invent” on the bottom

In 1984, HP introduced both inkjet and laser printers for the desktop. Along with its scanner product line, these have later been developed into successful multifunction products, the most significant being single-unit printer/scanner/copier/fax machines. The print mechanisms in HP’s tremendously popular LaserJet line of laser printers depend almost entirely on Canon Inc.’s components (print engines), which in turn use technology developed by Xerox. HP develops the hardware, firmware, and software that convert data into dots for the mechanism to print.[citation needed]

On March 3, 1986, HP registered the domain name, making it the ninth Internet .com domain ever to be registered.[22]

In 1987, the Palo Alto garage where Hewlett and Packard started their business was designated as a California State historical landmark.


In the 1990s, HP expanded their computer product line, which initially had been targeted at university, research, and business users, to reach consumers. HP also grew through acquisitions. It bought Apollo Computer in 1989 and Convex Computer in 1995.

Later in the decade, HP opened as an independent subsidiary to sell online, direct to consumers; in 2005, the store was renamed “HP Home & Home Office Store.”

From 1995 to 1998, Hewlett-Packard were sponsors of the English football team Tottenham Hotspur.

In 1999, all of the businesses not related to computers, storage, and imaging were spun off from HP to form Agilent Technologies. Agilent’s spin-off was the largest initial public offering in the history of Silicon Valley.[23] The spin-off created an $8 billion company with about 30,000 employees, manufacturing scientific instruments, semiconductors, optical networking devices, and electronic test equipment for telecom and wireless R&D and production.

In July 1999, HP appointed Carly Fiorina, formerly of AT&T and Lucent, as the first female CEO of a Fortune-20 company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.[24] Fiorina received a larger signing offer than any of her predecessors.[25] Fiorina served as CEO during the technology downturn of the early 2000s and led the merger with Compaq that was “disastrous”, according to CNN and led to the firing of 30,000 U.S. employees.[26] Under her leadership, the company doubled in size. Her tenure as CEO was beset by damaging leaks.[27] The HP Board of Directors asked Fiorina to step down in 2005 following a boardroom disagreement, and she resigned on February 9, 2005.[28]

Sales to Iran despite sanctions

In 1997, HP sold over $120 million worth of its printers and computer products to Iran through a European subsidiary and a Dubai-based East distributor, despite U.S. export sanctions prohibiting such deals imposed by Bill Clinton’s executive orders issued in 1995.[29][30][31] The story was initially reported by The Boston Globe,[32] and it triggered an inquiry by the SEC. HP responded that products worth US$120 million were sold in fiscal year 2008[33] for distribution by way of Redington Gulf, a company based in the Netherlands, and that as these sales took place through a foreign subsidiary, HP had not violated sanctions.[29]

HP named Redington Gulf “Wholesaler of the Year” in 2003, which in turn published a press release stating that “[t]he seeds of the Redington-Hewlett-Packard relationship were sowed six years ago for one market — Iran.”[29] At that time, Redington Gulf had only three employees whose sole purpose was to sell HP products to the Iran market.[32] According to former officials who worked on sanctions, HP was using a loophole by routing their sales through a foreign subsidiary.[29] HP ended its relationship with Redington Gulf after the SEC inquiry.[29]


Hewlett-Packard Deskjet 3845 printer

On September 3, 2001, HP announced that an agreement had been reached with Compaq to merge the two companies.[34] In May 2002, after passing a shareholder vote, HP officially merged with Compaq. Prior to this, plans had been in place to consolidate the companies’ product teams and product lines.[35]

Compaq had already taken over Digital Equipment Corporation in 1998. HP therefore still offers support for the former Digital Equipment products PDP-11, VAX and AlphaServer.

The merger occurred after a proxy fight with Bill Hewlett’s son Walter, who objected to the merger. Compaq itself had bought Tandem Computers in 1997 (which had been started by ex-HP employees), and Digital Equipment Corporation in 1998. Following this strategy, HP became a major player in desktops, laptops, and servers for many different markets. After the merger with Compaq, the new ticker symbol became “HPQ”, a combination of the two previous symbols, “HWP” and “CPQ”, to show the significance of the alliance and also key letters from the two companies Hewlett-Packard and Compaq (the latter company being famous for its “Q” logo on all of its products).

In 2004, HP released the DV 1000 Series, including the HP Pavilion dv 1658 and 1040 two years later in May 2006, HP began its campaign, “The Computer is Personal Again”. The campaign was designed to bring back the fact that the PC is a personal product. The campaign utilized viral marketing, sophisticated visuals and its own website ( Some of the ads featured Pharrell,[36]Petra Nemcova, Mark Burnett, Mark Cuban, Alicia Keys,[37]Jay-Z,[38]Gwen Stefani, and Shaun White.[citation needed]

In January 2005, following years of under performance, which included HP’s Compaq merger that fell short,[39] and disappointing earning reports,[40] the board asked Fiorina to resign as chair and chief executive officer of the company. Following the news of Fiorina’s departure, HP’s stock jumped 6.9 percent.[41] Robert Wayman, chief financial officer of HP, served as interim CEO while the board undertook a formal search for a replacement.[42]

Mark Hurd of NCR Corporation was hired to take over as CEO and president, effective 1 April 2005. Hurd was the board’s top choice given the revival of NCR that took place under his leadership.[39]


A sign marking the entrance to the HP corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, California, 2006

iPAQ 112 Pocket PC from 2008

In 2006, HP unveiled several new products including desktops, enhanced notebooks, a workstation and software to manage them, OpenView Client Configuration Manager 2.0.[43] In the same year, HP’s share price skyrocketed due to consistent results in the last couple quarters of the year with Hurd’s plan to cutback HP’s workforce and lower costs.[44]

In July 2007, HP signed a definitive agreement to acquire Opsware in a cash tender deal that values the company at $14.25 per share. This combined Opsware software with the Oracle enterprise IT management software.[45]

In the first few years of Hurd’s new role, HP’s stock price more than doubled. By the end of Fiscal 2007, HP hit the $100 Billion mark for the first time. The company’s annual revenue reached $104 Billion, allowing HP to overtake competitor IBM.[46]

On May 13, 2008, HP and Electronic Data Systems (EDS) announced[47] that they had signed a definitive agreement under which HP would purchase EDS. On June 30, HP announced[48] that the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 had expired. “The transaction still requires EDS stockholder approval and regulatory clearance from the European Commission and other non-U.S. jurisdictions and is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the other closing conditions specified in the merger agreement.” The agreement was finalized on August 26, 2008 at $13 billion, and it was publicly announced that EDS would be re-branded “EDS a HP company.” The first targeted layoff of 24,600 former EDS workers was announced on September 15, 2008.[49] (The company’s 2008 Annual Report gave the number as 24,700, to be completed by end of 2009.[50]) This round was factored into purchase price as a $19.5 billion liability against goodwill. As of September 23, 2009, EDS is known as HP Enterprise Services.

On November 11, 2009, 3Com and Hewlett-Packard announced that Hewlett-Packard would be acquiring 3Com for $2.7 billion in cash.[51] The acquisition is one of the biggest in size among a series of takeovers and acquisitions by technology giants to push their way to become one-stop shops. Since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2007, tech giants have constantly felt the pressure to expand beyond their current market niches. Dell purchased Perot Systems recently to invade into the technology consulting business area previously dominated by IBM. Hewlett-Packard’s latest move marked its incursion into enterprise networking gear market dominated by Cisco.


A Hewlett-Packard Mini 1000 netbook computer, a type of notebook computer

On April 28, 2010, Palm, Inc. and Hewlett-Packard announced that HP would buy Palm for $1.2 billion in cash and debt.[52] Before this announcement, it was rumored that either HTC, Dell, Research in Motion or HP would buy Palm. Adding Palm handsets to the HP product line created some overlap with the iPAQ series of mobile devices but was thought to significantly improve HP’s mobile presence as iPAQdevices had not been selling well. Buying Palm gave HP a library of valuable patents, as well as the mobile operating platform known as webOS. On July 1, 2010, the acquisition of Palm was final.[53] The purchase of Palm’s webOS began a big gamble – to build HP’s own ecosystem.[54] On July 1, 2011, HP launched its first tablet named HP TouchPad, bringing webOS to tablet devices. On September 2, 2010, HP won its bidding war for 3PAR with a $33 a share offer ($2.07 billion) which Dell declined to match. After HP’s acquisition of Palm, it phased out the Compaq brand.

On August 6, 2010, CEO Mark Hurd resigned amid controversy and CFO Cathie Lesjak assumed the role of interim CEO. Hurd had turned HP around and was widely regarded as one of Silicon Valley’s star CEOs. Under his leadership, HP became the largest computer company in the world when measured by total revenue.[55] Accused of sexual harassment against a colleague, the allegations were deemed baseless. The investigation led to questions concerning between $1000 and $20000 of his private expenses and his lack of disclosure related to the friendship.[56][57] Some observers have argued that Hurd was innocent, but the board asked for his resignation to avoid negative PR.[58] Public analysis was divided between those who saw it as a commendable tough action by HP in handling expenses irregularities, and those who saw it as an ill-advised, hasty and expensive reaction, in ousting a remarkably capable leader who had turned the business around.[56][57][59] At HP, Hurd oversaw a series of acquisitions worth over $20 billion. This allowed the company to expand into services of networking equipment and smartphones.[60] Shares of HP dropped by 8.4% in after-hours trading, hitting a 52-week low with $9 billion in market capitalization shaved off.[61]Larry Ellison publicly attacked HP’s board for his ousting, stating that the HP board had “made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago.”[62]

On September 30, 2010, Léo Apotheker was named as HP’s new CEO and President.[63] Apotheker’s appointment sparked a strong reaction from Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison,[64] who complained that Apotheker had been in charge of SAP when one of its subsidiaries was systematically stealing software from Oracle. SAP accepted that its subsidiary, which has now closed, illegally accessed Oracle intellectual property.[65] Following Hurd’s departure, HP was seen by the market as problematic, with margins falling and having failed to redirect and establish itself in major new markets such as cloud and mobile services.[citation needed] Apotheker’s strategy was broadly to aim at disposing of hardware and moving into the more profitable software services sector. On August 18, 2011, HP announced that it would strategically exit the smartphone and tablet computer business, focusing on higher-margin “strategic priorities of Cloud, solutions and software with an emphasis on enterprise, commercial and government markets”[66] They also contemplated selling off their personal computer division or spinning it off into a separate company,[67] quitting the ‘PC’ business, while continuing to sell servers and other equipment to business customers, was a strategy already undertaken by IBM in 2005.[68]

HP’s stock continued to drop, by about a further 40% (including 25% on one day, August 19, 2011), after the company abruptly announced a number of decisions: to discontinue its webOS device business (mobile phones and tablet computers), the intent to sell its personal computer division (at the time HP was the largest personal computer manufacturer in the world), and to acquire British big data software firm Autonomy for a 79% premium, seen externally as an “absurdly high” price[69] for a business with known concerns over its accounts.[70] Media analysts described HP’s actions as a “botched strategy shift” and a “chaotic” attempt to rapidly reposition HP and enhance earnings that ultimately cost Apotheker his job.[69][71][72] The Autonomy acquisition had been objected to even by HP’s own CFO.[73][74]:3–6

On September 22, 2011, the HP Board of Directors fired Apotheker as chief executive, effective immediately, and replaced him with fellow board member and former eBay chief Meg Whitman,[75] with Raymond J. Lane as executive chairman. Though Apotheker served barely ten months, he received over $13 million in compensation.[76] HP lost more than $30 billion in market capitalization during his tenure. Weeks later, HP announced that a review had concluded their PC division was too integrated and critical to business operations, and the company reaffirmed their commitment to the Personal Systems Group.[77] A year later in November 2012 wrote-down almost $9 billion related to the Autonomy acquisition (see below: Takeover of Autonomy), which became the subject of intense litigation as HP accused Autonomy’s previous management of fraudulently exaggerating Autonomy’s financial position and called in law enforcement and regulators in both countries, and Autonomy’s previous management accused HP of “textbook” obfuscation and finger pointing to protect HP’s executives from criticism and conceal HP culpability, their prior knowledge of Autonomy’s financial position, and gross mismanagement of Autonomy after acquisition.[74]:6

On March 21, 2012, HP said its printing and PC divisions would become one unit headed by Todd Bradley from the PC division. Printing chief Vyomesh Joshi is leaving the company.[78]

On May 23, 2012, HP announced plans to lay off approximately 27,000 employees, after posting a profit decline of 31% in the second quarter of 2012.[79]
The profit decline is on account of the growing popularity of smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices, that has slowed the sale of personal computers.[80]

On May 30, 2012, HP unveiled its first net zero energy data center. HP data center plans to use solar energy and other renewable sources instead of traditional power grids.[81]

On July 10, 2012, HP’s Server Monitoring Software was discovered to have a previously unknown security vulnerability.[82] A security warning was given to customers about two vulnerabilities, and a patch released.[83] One month later, HP’s official site of training center was hacked and defaced by a Pakistani hacker known to as ‘Hitcher’ to demonstrate a web vulnerability.[84]

On September 10, 2012, HP revised their restructuring figures; they are now cutting 29,000 jobs. HP had already cut 3,800 jobs – around 7 percent of the revised 29,000 figure – as of July 2012.[85]


On December 31, 2013, HP revised the amount of jobs cut from 29,000 to 34,000 up to October 2014. The current amount of jobs cut until the end of 2013 was 24,600.[86][87][88] At the end of 2013 the company had 317,500 employees. On May 22, 2014 HP announced it would cut a further 11,000 to 16,000 jobs, in addition to the 34,000 announced in 2013. “We are gradually shaping HP into a more nimble, lower-cost, more customer and partner-centric company that can successfully compete across a rapidly changing IT landscape,” CEO Meg Whitman said at the time.[89]

In June 2014, during the HP Discover customer event in Las Vegas, Meg Whitman and Martin Fink announced a project for a radically new computer architecture called The Machine. Based on memristors and silicon photonics, The Machine is supposed to come in commercialization before the end of the decade, meanwhile representing 75% of the research activity in HP Labs.[90]

On October 6, 2014, Hewlett-Packard announced it was planning to split into two separate companies, separating its personal computer and printer businesses from its technology services. The split, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by other media, would result in two publicly traded companies: Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. Meg Whitman would serve as chairman of HP Inc. and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Patricia Russo would be chairman of the enterprise business, and Dion Weisler would be CEO of HP, Inc.[91][92][93]

On October 29, 2014, Hewlett-Packard announced their new Sprout personal computer.[94]

In May 2015, the company announced it would be selling its controlling 51 percent stake in its Chinese data-networking business to Tsinghua Unigroup for a fee of at least $2.4 billion.[95]

On November 1, 2015, as previously announced, Hewlett-Packard changed its name to HP Inc. and spun off Hewlett Packard Enterprise as a new publicly traded company. Because of this, HP Inc. retains Hewlett-Packard’s stock price history and its stock ticker symbol, HPQ, while Hewlett Packard Enterprise trades under its own symbol, HPE.[96][97]


The research center of Hewlett-Packard in the Paris-Saclay cluster, France.

HP’s global operations are directed from its headquarters in Palo Alto, California, USA. Its U.S. operations are directed from its facility in unincorporated Harris County, Texas, near Houston. Its Latin America offices are in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida, U.S., near Miami; Its Europe offices are in Meyrin, Switzerland, near Geneva, but it has also a research center in the Paris-Saclay cluster, 20 km south of Paris, France. Its Asia-Pacific offices are in Singapore.[98][99][100][101][100][102][103]

It also has large operations in Leixlip, Ireland;[104]Austin, Texas; Boise, Idaho; Corvallis, Oregon; Fort Collins, Colorado; Roseville, California; Saint Petersburg, Florida; San Diego, California; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Vancouver, Washington; Conway, Arkansas; and Plano, Texas (the former headquarters of EDS, which HP acquired). In the UK, HP is based at a large site in Bracknell, Berkshire with offices in various UK locations, including a landmark office tower in London, 88 Wood Street. Its recent acquisition of 3Com will expand its employee base to Marlborough, Massachusetts.[105] The company also has a large workforce and numerous offices in Bucharest, Romania and at Bangalore, India, to address their back end and IT operations. MphasiS, which is headquartered at Bangalore, also enabled HP to increase their footprint in the city as it was a subsidiary of EDS which the company acquired.

Products and organizational structure

HP office in Japan

HP produces lines of printers, scanners, digital cameras, calculators, PDAs, servers, workstation computers, and computers for home and small-business use; many of the computers came from the 2002 merger with Compaq. HP as of 2001[update] promotes itself as supplying not just hardware and software, but also a full range of services to design, implement, and support IT infrastructure.

HP’s Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) was described by the company in 2005 as “the leading imaging and printing systems provider in the world for printer hardware, printing supplies and scanning devices, providing solutions across customer segments from individual consumers to small and medium businesses to large enterprises”.[106]

HP Presario F700 F767CL

iPAQ h4150 Pocket PC from 2003

Products and technology associated with IPG include:

  • Inkjet and LaserJet printers
  • consumables and related products
  • Officejet all-in-one multifunction printer/scanner/faxes
  • Designjet and Scitex Large Format Printers
  • Indigo Digital Press
  • HP Web Jetadmin printer management software
  • HP Output Management suite of software
  • LightScribe optical recording technology
  • HP Photosmart digital cameras and photo printers
  • HP SPaM
  • Snapfish by HP, a photo sharing and photo products service.

On December 23, 2008, HP released iPrint Photo for iPhone, a free downloadable software application that allows the printing of 4″ x 6″ photos.[107]

HP’s Personal Systems Group (PSG) claims to be “one of the leading vendors of personal computers (“PCs”) in the world based on unit volume shipped and annual revenue.”[106] PSG deals with:

  • business PCs and accessories
  • consumer PCs and accessories, (e.g., HP Pavilion, Compaq Presario, VoodooPC)
  • handheld computing (e.g., iPAQ Pocket PC)
  • digital “connected” entertainment (e.g., HP MediaSmart TVs, HP MediaSmart Servers, HP MediaVaults, DVD+RW drives)

HP resold the Apple iPod until November 2005.[106]

HP Enterprise Business (EB) incorporates HP Technology Services, Enterprise Services (an amalgamation of the former EDS, and what was known as HP Services), HP Enterprise Security Services oversees professional services such as network security, information security and information assurance/ compliancy, HP Software Division, and Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking Group (ESSN). The Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking Group (ESSN) oversees “back end” products like storage and servers. HP Networking (former ProCurve) is responsible for the NW family of products. They are a business unit of ESSN.

An HP camera with an SDIO interface, designed for use in conjunction with a Pocket PC

HP Software Division is the company’s enterprise software unit. For years,[when?] HP has produced and marketed its brand of enterprise-management software, HP OpenView. From September 2005 HP purchased several software companies as part of a publicized, deliberate strategy to augment its software offerings for large business customers.[108] HP Software sells several categories of software, including:

  • business service management software
  • application lifecycle management software
  • mobile apps
  • big data and analytics
  • service and portfolio management software
  • automation and orchestration software
  • enterprise security software
    • ArcSight
    • Fortify Software
    • Atalla
    • TippingPoint

HP Software also provides software as a service (SaaS), cloud computing solutions, and software services, including consulting, education, professional services, and support.

HP’s Office of Strategy and Technology[109] has four main functions:

  1. steering the company’s $3.6 billion research and development investment
  2. fostering the development of the company’s global technical community
  3. leading the company’s strategy and corporate development efforts,[110]
  4. performing worldwide corporate marketing activities

Under the Office of Strategy and Technology comes HP Labs, the research arm of HP. Founded in 1966, HP Labs aims to deliver new technologies and to create business opportunities that go beyond HP’s current strategies. Examples of recent HP Labs technology includes the Memory spot chip of 2006. HP IdeaLab further provides a web forum on early-state innovations to encourage open feedback from consumers and the development community.[111]

HP also offers managed services by which they provide complete IT-support solutions for other companies and organizations. Some examples of these include:

  • offering “Professional Support” and desktop “Premier Support” for Microsoft in the EMEA marketplace. This is done from the Leixlip campus near Dublin, Sofia and Israel. Support is offered on the line of Microsoft operation systems, Exchange, Sharepoint and some office-applications.[112]
  • outsourced services for companies like Bank of Ireland, some UK banks, the U.S. defense forces.
  • the computerisation project at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Staff and culture

The founders developed a management style that came to be known as “The HP Way.” In Hewlett’s words, the HP Way is “a core ideology … which includes a deep respect for the individual, a dedication to affordable quality and reliability, a commitment to community responsibility, and a view that the company exists to make technical contributions for the advancement and welfare of humanity.”[113] The following are the tenets of The HP Way:[114]

  1. We have trust and respect for individuals.
  2. We focus on a high level of achievement and contribution.
  3. We conduct our business with uncompromising integrity.
  4. We achieve our common objectives through teamwork.
  5. We encourage flexibility and innovation.

Notable people

  • Michael Capellas (Compaq CEO/Chairman – HP President)[115]
  • Barney Oliver, founder and director of HP laboratories
  • Steve Wozniak[116]
  • Tom Perkins
  • Carly Fiorina, 2016 Republican presidential candidate
  • Matt Shaheen, management consultant executive at HP Enterprise Services in Plano, Texas; Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives
  • John Schultz (HP Lawyer – Oracle Lawsuit)[117]

Corporate social responsibility

In July 2007, the company announced that it had met its target, set in 2004, to recycle one billion pounds of electronics, toner and ink cartridges.[118] It set a new goal of recycling a further two billion pounds of hardware by the end of 2010. In 2006, the company recovered 187 million pounds of electronics, 73 percent more than its closest competitor.[119]

In 2008, HP released its supply chain emissions data — an industry first.[120]

In September 2009, Newsweek ranked HP No. 1 on its 2009 Green Rankings of America’s 500 largest corporations.[121] According to, “Hewlett-Packard earned its number one position due to its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction programs, and was the first major IT company to report GHG emissions associated with its supply chain, according to the ranking. In addition, HP has made an effort to remove toxic substances from its products, though Greenpeace has targeted the company for not doing better.”[122]

HP took the top spot on Corporate Responsibility Magazines 100 Best Corporate Citizens List for 2010.[123] The list is cited by PR Week as one of America’s most important business rankings. HP beat out other Russell 1000 Index companies because of its leadership in seven categories including environment, climate changes and corporate philanthropy. In 2009, HP was ranked fifth.[124]

Fortune magazine named HP one of the World’s Most Admired Companies in 2010, placing it No. 2 in the computer industry and No. 32 overall in its list of the top 50. This year in the computer industry HP was ranked No. 1 in social responsibility, long-term investment, global competitiveness, and use of corporate assets.[125]

In May 2011, HP released a Global Responsibility report covering accomplishments during 2010.[126] The report, the company’s tenth, provides a comprehensive view of HP’s global citizenship programs, performance, and goals and describes how HP uses its technology, influence, and expertise to make a positive impact on the world. The company’s 2009 report won best corporate responsibility report of the year.[127] The 2009 reports claims HP decreased its total energy use by 9 percent compared with 2008. HP recovered a total of 118,000 tonnes of electronic products and supplies for recycling in 2009, including 61 million print cartridges.[128]

In an April 2010 San Francisco Chronicle article, HP was one of 12 companies commended for “designing products to be safe from the start, following the principles of green chemistry.” The commendations came from Environment California, an environmental advocacy group, who praised select companies in the Golden State and the Bay Area for their efforts to keep our planet clean and green.[129]

In May 2010, HP was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute. This is the second year in a row HP has made the list. Ethisphere reviewed, researched and analyzed thousands of nominations in more than 100 countries and 35 industries to create the 2010 list. HP was one of only 100 companies to earn the distinction of top winner and was the only computer hardware vendor to be recognized. Ethisphere honors firms that promote ethical business standards and practices by going beyond legal minimums, introducing innovative ideas that benefit the public.[130]

HP is listed in Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics that ranks electronics manufacturers according to their policies on sustainability, energy and climate and green products. In November 2011, HP secured the 1st place (out of 15) in this ranking (climbing up 3 places) with an increased score of 5.9 (up from 5.5). It scored most points on the new Sustainable Operations criteria, having the best program for measuring and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from its suppliers and scoring maximum points for its thorough paper procurement policy.[131] In the November 2012 report, HP was ranked second, with a score of 5.7.[132]

HP does especially well for its disclosure of externally verified greenhouse gas emissions and its setting of targets for reducing them.[133][third-party source needed] However, Greenpeace reports that HP risks a penalty point in future editions due to the fact that it is a member of trade associations that have commented against energy efficiency standards.[131]

HP has earned recognition of its work in the area of data privacy and security.[134] In 2010 the company ranked No. 4 in the Ponemon Institute’s annual study of the most trusted companies for privacy.[135] Since 2006, HP has worked directly with the U.S. Congress, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Department of Commerce to establish a new strategy for federal legislation.[136] HP played a key role in work toward the December 2010 FTC report “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change.”[137]

After winning nine straight annual “Most Respected Company in China” awards from the Economic Observer and Peking University, HP China has added the “10 Year Contribution” award to its list of accolades. The award aims to identify companies doing business in China with outstanding and sustained performance in business operations, development and corporate social responsibility.[138]

In its 2012 rankings of consumer electronics companies on progress relating to conflict minerals, the Enough Project rated HP second out of 24 companies, calling it a “Pioneer of progress”.[139]


A Hewlett-Packard sponsored Porsche 997 GT3 Cup

The company sponsored the HP Pavilion at San Jose (now SAP Center at San Jose), home to the NHL’s San Jose Sharks.

According to a BusinessWeek Study, HP was the world’s 11th most valuable brand as of 2009.[140]

HP has many sponsorships. One well known sponsorship is Mission: SPACE in Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort.[141] From 1995 to 1999, and again from 2013, HP has been the shirt sponsor of[142]Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur F.C.[citation needed] From 1997 to 1999 they were sponsors of Australian Football League club North Melbourne Football Club.[citation needed] They also sponsored the BMW Williams Formula 1 team until 2005 (a sponsorship formerly held by Compaq), and as of 2010 sponsor Renault F1.[143] Hewlett-Packard also had the naming rights arrangement for the HP Pavilion at San Jose, home of the San Jose Sharks NHL hockey team until 2013, in which the arena’s naming rights were acquired by SAP AG, renaming the arena to the SAP Center at San Jose.[144] The company also maintains a number of corporate sponsorships in the business sector, including sponsorships of trade organisations including Fespa (print trade exhibitions), and O’Reilly Media’s Velocity (web development) conference.

After the acquisition of Compaq in 2002, HP has maintained the “Compaq Presario” brand on low-end home desktops and laptops, the “HP Compaq” brand on business desktops and laptops, and the “HP ProLiant” brand on Intel-architecture servers. (The “HP Pavilion” brand is used on home entertainment laptops and all home desktops.)[145]

Tandem’s “NonStop” servers are now branded as “HP Integrity NonStop”.[146]



In March 2003, HP restated its first-quarter cash flow from operations, reducing it 18 percent because of an accounting error. Actual cash flow from operations was $647 million, not $791 million as reported earlier. HP shifted $144 million to net cash used in investing activities.[147]

Spying scandal

On September 5, 2006, Shawn Cabalfin and David O’Neil of Newsweek wrote that HP’s general counsel, at the behest of chairwoman Patricia Dunn, contracted a team of independent security experts to investigate board members and several journalists in order to identify the source of an information leak.[148] In turn, those security experts recruited private investigators who used a spying technique known as pretexting.[149] The pretexting involved investigators impersonating HP board members and nine journalists (including reporters for CNET, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal) in order to obtain their phone records. The information leaked related to HP’s long-term strategy and was published as part of a CNET article[150] in January 2006. Most HP employees accused of criminal acts have since been acquitted.[151]


In November 2007, Hewlett-Packard released a BIOS update covering a wide range of laptops with the intent to speed up the computer fan as well as have it run constantly, whether the computer was on or off.[152] The reason was to prevent the overheating of defective Nvidia graphics processing units (GPUs) that had been shipped to many of the original equipment manufacturers, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Apple.[153] The defect concerned the new packaging material used by Nvidia from 2007 onwards in joining the graphics chip onto the motherboard, which did not perform well under thermal cycling and was prone to develop stress cracks – effectively severing the connection between the GPU and the motherboard, leading to a blank screen.[154] In July 2008, HP issued an extension to the initial one-year warranty to replace the motherboards of selected models.[155] However this option was not extended to all models with the defective Nvidia chipsets despite research showing that these computers were also affected by the fault.[156] Furthermore, the replacement of the motherboard was a temporary fix, since the fault was inherent in all units of the affected models from the point of manufacture, including the replacement motherboards offered by HP as a free ‘repair’.[157][158] Since this point, several websites have been documenting the issue, most notably,[159] a forum dedicated to what they refer to as Hewlett-Packard’s “multi-million dollar cover up” of the issue, and, which details the specifics of the fault and offers advice to the owners of affected computers. There have been several small-claims lawsuits filed in several states, as well as suits filed in other countries. Hewlett-Packard also faced a class-action lawsuit in 2009 over its i7 processor computers. The complainants stated that their systems locked up within 30 minutes of powering on, consistently. Even after being replaced with newer i7 systems, the lockups continued.[160]

Lawsuit against Oracle

On June 15, 2011, HP filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court in Santa Clara, claiming that Oracle Corporation had breached an agreement to support the Itanium microprocessor used in HP’s high-end enterprise servers.[161] On June 15, 2011, HP sent a “formal legal demand” letter to Oracle in an attempt to force the world’s No. 3 software maker to reverse its decision to discontinue software development on Intel Itanium microprocessor[162] and build its own servers.[117] HP won the lawsuit in 2012, requiring Oracle to continue to produce software compatible with the Itanium processor.[163] HP was awarded $3 billion in damages against Oracle on June 30, 2016.[117][164] HP argued Oracle’s canceling support damaged HP Itanium server brand. Oracle has announced it will appeal both the decision and damages.

Takeover of Autonomy

In November 2012, HP recorded a writedown of around $8.8 billion related to its acquisition a year earlier of the UK based Autonomy Corporation PLC. HP accused Autonomy of deliberately inflating the value of the company prior to its takeover. The former management team of Autonomy flatly rejected the charge.

Autonomy specialized in analysis of large scale unstructured “big data”, and by 2010 was the UK’s largest and most successful[71]software business. It maintained an aggressively entrepreneurial marketing approach, and controls described as a “rod of iron”, which was said to include zero tolerance and firing the weakest 5% of its sales force each quarter, while compensating the best sales staff “like rock stars”.[73]

At the time, HP had fired its previous CEO for expenses irregularities a year before, and appointed Léo Apotheker as CEO and President. HP was seen as problematic by the market, with margins falling and having failed to redirect and establish itself in major new markets such as cloud and mobile services. Apotheker’s strategy was to aim at disposing of hardware and moving into the more profitable software services sector.

As part of this strategy, Autonomy was acquired by HP in October 2011. HP paid $10.3 billion for 87.3% of the shares, valuing Autonomy at around $11.7 billion (£7.4 billion) overall, a premium of around 79% over market price. The deal was widely criticized as “absurdly high”, a “botched strategy shift” and a “chaotic” attempt to rapidly reposition HP and enhance earnings,[69][71][72] and had been objected to even by HP’s own CFO.[73][74]:3–6 Within a year, Apotheker himself had been fired, major culture clashes became apparent and HP had written off $8.8 billion of Autonomy’s value.[73]

HP claim this resulted from “accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures” by the previous management, who in turn accuse HP of a “textbook example of defensive stalling”[74]:6 to conceal evidence of its own prior knowledge and gross mismanagement and undermining of the company, noting public awareness since 2009 of its financial reporting issues[74]:3 and that even HP’s CFO disagreed with the price paid.[73][74]:3–6 External observers generally state that only a small part of the write-off appears to be due to accounting mis-statements, and that HP had overpaid for businesses previously.[73][165]

The Serious Fraud Office (United Kingdom), and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission joined the FBI in investigating the potential anomalies. HP incurred much damage with its stock falling to decades’ low.[166][167][168] Three lawsuits were brought by shareholders against HP, for the fall in value of HP shares. In August 2014 a United States district court judge threw out a proposed settlement, which Autonomy’s previous management had argued would be collusive and intended to divert scrutiny of HP’s own responsibility and knowledge, by essentially engaging the plaintiff’s attorneys from the existing cases and redirecting them against the previous Autonomy vendors and management, for a fee of up to $48 million, with plaintiffs agreeing to end any claims against HP’s management and similarly redirect those claims against the previous Autonomy vendors and management.[169][170] In January 2015 the SFO closed its investigation as the likelihood of a successful prosecution was low.[171] The dispute is still being litigated in the US, and is being investigated by the UK and Ireland Financial Reporting Council. On June 9, 2015, HP agreed to pay $100 million to investors who bought HP shares between August 19, 2011, and November 20, 2012 to settle the suite over Autonomy purchase.[172]

Israeli settlements

On October 25, 2012, Richard Falk, the Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, called for boycotting HP together with other “businesses that are profiting from Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian lands until they brought their operations in line with international human rights and humanitarian law”.[173][174] In 2014, the Presbyterian Church voted to move forward with divestment from HP “in protest of Israeli policies toward Palestinians”.[175] In 2015, the City of Portland’s Human Rights Commission requested to place Caterpillar, G4S, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions on the City’s “Do Not Buy” list.[176]


On April 9, 2014, an administrative proceeding before Securities and Exchange Commission was settled by HP consenting to an order acknowledging that HP had violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) when HP subsidiaries in Russia, Poland, and Mexico made improper payments to government officials to obtain or retain lucrative public contracts.[177]

The SEC’s order finds that HP’s subsidiary in Russia paid more than $2 million through agents and various shell companies to a Russian government official to retain a multimillion-dollar contract with the federal prosecutor’s office. In Poland, HP’s subsidiary provided gifts and cash bribes worth more than $600,000 to a Polish government official to obtain contracts with the national police agency. And as part of its bid to win a software sale to Mexico’s state-owned petroleum company, HP’s subsidiary in Mexico paid more than $1 million in inflated commissions to a consultant with close ties to company officials, and money was funneled to one of those officials. HP agreed to pay $108 million to settle the SEC charges and a parallel criminal case.[178][179][180]

See also

  • ArcSight
  • Fortify
  • HP calculators
  • HP Linux Imaging and Printing
  • HP Software & Solutions
  • HP User Group
  • List of acquisitions by Hewlett-Packard
  • List of computer system manufacturers
  • List of Hewlett-Packard products
  • Shortest Path Bridging
  • TippingPoint


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External links

  • Hewlett-Packard
  • HP Printing and The Science Museum of Minnesota[permanent dead link]
  • The Museum of HP Calculators
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  • Local HP
    • Business data for Hewlett-Packard Company:
    • Reuters
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