Last Philips at the helm passes away

6th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

6 December 2005, AMSTERDAM — An era came to an end in the Netherlands on Tuesday with the announcement of the death of Frits Philips at the age of 100.

6 December 2005

AMSTERDAM — An era came to an end in the Netherlands on Tuesday with the announcement of the death of Frits Philips at the age of 100.

Known as 'Meneer Frits' (Mister Frits), he was the son of Anton Philips (1874 to 1951) and the nephew of Gerard Philips (1858 - 1942), who founded Philips and turned it into a multinational.

Frits Philips was the last member of the Philips family to be the chairman of the board of the company based in the Dutch city of Eindhoven. Under his stewardship from 1961 to 1971, Philips made further strides in becoming a dominant international electronics company.

In 1929 Frits Philips married Sylvia van Lennep, who died in 1992. The couple had three sons and four daughters.

Frits Philips died in his sleep as a result of pneumonia which was brought on after he suffered a fall last week. He will be laid to rest at a private ceremony attended by members of his family on Monday 12 December 2005, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Acknowledging the public interest, the company said a memorial service would be held at the Frits Philips Music Center at 11 am. From Tuesday until after the memorial, people can register their condolences at the Frits Philips Music Center and the Town Hall in Eindhoven.

"In Frits Philips we lose a warm and committed man, spirited entrepreneur, who lived his life to the full, and who was intensively involved with Philips and the world outside", said Gerard Kleisterlee, President and CEO of Philips. "We are thankful for his service to our company for which we will always remember him."
"On 16 April 2005, Frits fulfilled another promise: to reach the age of 100. And while he chose to celebrate his birthday quietly at home, thousands of people joined festivities in Eindhoven," Kleisterlee said.

In the course of his life, Frits Philips received countless awards. In 1976 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Louvain (Belgium) and the China Academy in Taipei (Taiwan). In 1982 he was given the International Executive of the Year Award by the Brigham Young University School of Management in Provo (Utah, USA).

In his own country, he was decorated as Grand Officer of the Order of Orange Nassau and Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion. The Vatican made him a Commander of the Papal Order of St. Gregory the Great, Israel presented him with the Yad Vashem medal, Spain with the Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit, and France made him an Officer of the Legion of Honor.

The Queen of the Netherlands decorated him with the Gold Medal for Enterprise and Ingenuity, and he was made a freeman of the city of Eindhoven.

Frits Philips was an ardent supporter of football club PSV Eindhoven. In tribute PSV players will observe a minute's silence before their Champions League match against Fenerbahce on Tuesday evening. The team will also wear black arm bands.  

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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