I like the new name and the explanation behind it. His description of finding a suitable name was done well. My work division went through a similar renaming for a product line a few years ago and I learned a lot about all the things that need checking.
In the case of a long-established business, the company name matters less than what Keysight does once it's independent of Agilent. It's the features and quality of the products and the support that matter in the long run. The same was true when Agilent split from HP.
To engineers, it's mostly about what you bring to the table.
More on why the name doesn't matter much to me. I quote myself from a blog I wrote for Test & Measurement World nearly five years ago. The headline is "Agilent came from HP, really"
The headline of this posting may sound absurd to anyone who has used test equipment for more than just the last few years. If you read Test & Measurement World, you probably have some test equipment with an HP logo and you use that equipment every day. But, Agilent split from HP ten years ago, and there's a crop of young engineers who've grown up with Agilent equipment but not necessarily with HP equipment. To them, HP has always been a computer company.
This revelation came to me yesterday while working with several graduate students for our May cover story. I mentioned an HP meter to one of the students by saying "It was manufactured by HP prior to the formation of Agilent."
This caught a 24-year-old grad student by surprise. "You mean Agilent used to be HP?" he said wide-eyed. I explained to him that HP actually started as a test equipment company and split off the business into Agilent in 1999. The student replied "That explains why we have a box in the lab that says HP on it. Now I get it."
In ten years, we will have a generation of engineers who will think Keysight has been around forever. Few will know that Keysight came from Agilent and Agilent came from HP.
Thanks, SLeibson. Martin Rowe corrected the article. Normally I would agree with you but Martin's slip probably has less to do with the name and more to do with his own desire that the company be called BD Measurements or just Bill and Dave. He even made the logo for it.
While typing the story, I inadvertently typed "Keyspan" a time or two but corrected them before posting. Keyspan was the name of a utility company in the northeast. MCU Park in Brooklyn, a minor league ballpark, was once known as Keyspan Park.
There's a linkedIn group call Test & Measurement Marketing and about a year ago, someone started a thread about Danaher acquiring Agilent. That was a huge chunk to swallow and many people, including me, chimed it say that would naver happen and hoped it never would. Now Keysight will "only" be a $3billion company and I still think that likelihood is nil. For one thing, the SEC would probably block such a takeover because Danaher already owns Tektronix, Fluke, and Keithley. Having Keysight under Danaher would kill competition in the T&M business.
Sorry to spoil the party, but I hate the new name. It reminds me of some cheap electronics company born in the back streets of Hong Kong.
In my opinion, when they were looking to split off the computer business they should have kept name continuity and done the following:
Hewlett Packard: For the traditional Test & Measurment business.
Agilent: For the new computer business (It even sounds new and modern).
Some other name for the Medical and Life Sciences business. I understand the difficulties in coming up with an original name, but surely a $12 Billion business could do better than Keysight.
How about something like "Magilent" for the Medical business? I dreamed that up in 10 seconds. Surely a multi-billion dollar company can come up with something better considering all the time they had to think about it.
I don't hate the name and I haven't been able to find a way to make fun of it. To me, it's just not memorable. I'm pretty sure that one month from now I'll see a headline about a new product from Keysight and I'll go "who?"
I appreciate that it's difficult to come up with a good name for a company or product, as many good ones are already taken -- some several times -- but given the richness of language, literature, and mythology it seems one could do pretty well if one worked at it.