David Packard

American electrical engineer, businessman, and philanthropist

David Packard (September 7, 1912 – March 26, 1996) was an electrical engineer and co-founder, with William Hewlett, of Hewlett-Packard (1939), serving as president (1947–64), CEO (1964–68), and Chairman of the Board (1964–68, 1972–93).


  • I want to discuss why a company exists in the first place. In other words, why are we here? I think many people assume, wrongly, that a company exists simply to make money. While this is an important result of a company’s existence, we have to go deeper and find the real reasons for our being. . . . Purpose (which should last at least 100 years) should not be confused with specific goals or business strategies (which should change many times in 100 years). Whereas you might achieve a goal or complete a strategy, you cannot fulfill a purpose; it’s like a guiding star on the horizon—forever pursued but never reached. Yet although purpose itself does not change, it does inspire change. The very fact that purpose can never be fully realized means that an organization can never stop stimulating change and progress.
    • David Packard (1960) cited in: Bruce Jones. "The Difference Between Purpose and Mission." in Harvard Business Review, Feb. 02, 2016.
  • The most important question we have to deal with, is a combination of population control and the control of our environment — how to utilize the world in as effective a way as we can for the future of mankind.
    • David Packard in: Rushworth M. Kidder (1987), An Agenda for the 21st Century, p. 132
  • Marketing is far too important to be left only to the marketing department!.
    • David Packard cited in Philip Kotler (2000), Marketing Management, Millenium Edition. p. 13

Bill & Dave, 2007Edit

David Packard in: Michael Shawn Malone. Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World's Greatest Company. Penguin, 2007

  • The best company management is one that combines a sense of corporate greatness and destiny, with empathy for - and fidelity to - the average employee.
    • p. 393
  • The greatest success goes to the person who is not afraid to fail in front of even the largest audience.
    • p. 393
  • Set out to build a company and make a contribution, not an empire and a fortune.
    • p. 394

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