David Packard (1912-1996) – Engineer & Businessman
David Packard was a cofounder, with William Hewlett, of Hewlett-Packard, established in 1939 with an initial capital investment of $538. Packard mentions in his book The HP Way that the name Hewlett-Packard was determined by the flip of a coin: HP, rather than PH. Their first product was a sound oscillator sold to Walt Disney Studios for use on the soundtrack of Fantasia. The HP Way describes HP’s management philosophy, which encourages creativity and shuns traditional business hierarchy and formality. During World War II, HP produced radio, sonar, radar, nautical, and aviation devices. HP incorporated in 1947, with Packard becoming its first president, serving in that role until 1964. He was then elected Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, holding these positions through 1968, and again from 1972 to 1993. In 1991, Packard oversaw a major reorganization at HP. He retired from HP in 1993. At the time of his death in 1996, Packard’s stake in the company was worth more than $1 billion.
From the early 1980s until his death, Packard dedicated much of his time and money to philanthropic projects. In 1978, prompted by his daughters, Nancy Packard Burnett and Julie Packard, Dave and Lucile Packard created the Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation. The couple eventually donated $55 million to build the new aquarium and in 1987, Packard gave $13 million to create the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation has since provided about 90% of the Institute’s operating budget. In 1964, the couple founded the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. In 1986, they donated $40 million toward building the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University which opened in 1991. Packard and Hewlett made a combined donation of $77 million to Stanford in 1994, for which the university named the David Packard Electrical Engineering Building in his honor. The building is located adjacent to the William Hewlett Teaching Center.
We honor David Packard because his philanthropic work makes him a Legacy Champ. If you want to be a Legacy Champ in your own special way, then contact The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. for a free initial consultation on estate planning, trust planning, and/or probate issues.