THE WORLD'S largest lighting company, Philips Lighting, is to be called Signify, Lux can exclusively reveal.
The new corporate title – due to be unveiled by chief Eric Rondolat at the industry’s global gathering, the Light + Building exhibition, on Monday – has been a closely-guarded secret for months, said to be known by only 10 people worldwide.
‘Needless to say, we’ll continue to use the Philips brand for our product as we have a brand licence agreement for the coming decade,’ said Rondolot.
‘Our new company name is a clear expression of our strategic vision and a fabulous opportunity to introduce a new corporate look and feel that is uniquely our own and will serve to further unite our 32,000 employees. At the same time, we remain proud to continue to use the Philips brand on our products.’
Philips Lighting can trace its roots back more than 125 years to the business founded by Frederik and Gerard Philips in 1891 in the Dutch town of Eindhoven.
The change in company name was required under its contract with former parent Royal Philips, which stipulated that it change its title less than 18 months after Royal Philips no longer has a controlling interest.
Royal Philips sold off Philips Lighting in a stock market offering.
Philips Lighting began hinting at the name change about three months ago. The switch reflects the importance of IT-based lighting and services. One industry observer told Lux: ‘It conjures up notions of lighting as an Internet-connected network that helps gather data to not only improve the operation and control of the lighting itself, but also to provide insights on how to improve operations of cities, roadways, and commercial facilities'.
The ongoing evolution of connected lighting as an information technology network fits well with Rondolat’s clear intention to push the service-oriented side of the business.
All Philips Lighting employees changed their email addresses from @philips.com to @lighting.com, a domain Philips Lighting is believed to have acquired in the 1990s.
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Main pic: Francis Chuwa 2017 via Flickr Media Commons; Eric Rondolat picture by Mark Halper.