Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Tektronix is a United States corporation that is currently a major presence in the test, measurement, and measuring industry. It manufacturers oscilloscopes, logic analyzers , and both video and mobile test protocol equipment. Tektronix is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TEK , the nickname by which Tektronix is known to its employees, customers, and neighbors.
Several charities are affiliated with Tektronix, including the Tektronix and the Jack Murdock Foundations.
The company traces its roots to the electronics revolution that immediately followed World War II. The company’s founders Howard Vollum and Jack Murdock invented the world’s first triggered oscilloscope in 1946, a significant technological breakthrough. They founded Tektronix in southeast Portland, Oregon, which they later moved to the suburb of Beaverton following an employee vote. Its IPO, when it publically sold its first shares of stock, was on September 11, 1963.
For many years, Tektronix was the major electronics manufacturer in Oregon, and during the 1970s had about 20,000 employees on its payroll, with operations in Europe, South America and Asia. Some employees went on to create other successful Silicon Forest companies that include Mentor Graphics, Planar Systems, Floating Point Systems, and Anthro Corporation . One employee, Jean Auel, quit her job as a technical writer once she had a best-selling novel with Clan of the Cave Bear .
Some important non-test equipment Tektronix had created and sold include the Tektronix 4014 computer terminal, TekXPress X-terminals, and a line of color computer printers which were sold to Xerox in 1999.
In the 1980s, Tektronix entered a slump, and found itself distracted with too many divisions in too many markets. Losing money almost every quarter, a period of lay-offs and sell-offs followed until it was left with its original market of manufacturing test and measurement equipment. Upon his promotion in 2000, the current CEO, Richard H. "Rick" Wills, immediately understood the nature of the high-tech bubble, and carefully limited corporate spending. This led the way for Tektronix to emerge as one of the largest companies in its product niche, with a market cap as of 2004 of $2.5 billion.
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