Martin Rowe: What can you say about the logo? It looks like a waveform.
Jay Alexander: The time-domain logo has a special meaning to me because I've worked on time-domain product throughout my career. It also speaks to engineers.
Martin Rowe: Why did the company choose to make the announcement now?
Jay Alexander: Keysight will become a legal entity -- a wholly owned subsidiary of Agilent Technologies -- on August 1, 2014. We intend to completely split the company on November. To make that happen, we needed to announce the company name in January, which gave us time to incorporate the name in countries around the world early in December 2013. We also wanted to make the announcement soon after registering the name because the documents are public and searchable online. We didn't want the name getting out in unpredictable and random ways before the official announcement.
Martin Rowe: Why will the company headquarters be in Santa Rosa, Calif. as opposed to Silicon Valley where Agilent has its headquarters?
Jay Alexander: We have a long history in Santa Rosa going back before Agilent. Much of our product development is there and has been for many years. We will maintain sales and support in Silicon Valley, which is close to many customers. Our engagement with customers in Silicon Valley won't change at all.
Martin Rowe: When Agilent split from HP in 1999, I recall an excitement among people I knew there at the time. What's the general feeling now?
Jay Alexander: People are excited in much the same way. We were thrilled to be out from under HP then and that feeling is back. We will now be able to focus the entire company on electronic measurements. That goes right to the core. We'll carry on the legacy started by Hewlett and Packard 75 years ago.
Martin Rowe: What will become of Agilent Labs?
Jay Alexander: A few years ago, Agilent functionally divided Agilent labs in to two operations. One focused on life sciences, while the other, called Measurement Research Labs (MRL), focused on electronic measurements. From a functional standpoint, that split already occurred. From a practical standpoint, the two labs are still co-located and will remain that way. At the main lab in Santa Clara, Calif., Keysight will lease lab space from Agilent, but in other locations, Agilent will lease lab space from Keysight.
Martin Rowe: Do you expect any change in number of employees in the first year?
Jay Alexander: There will be no immediate impact for employees. When the separation is completed, the employees will work for one of the two companies.
Martin Rowe: Do you expect the new company to do business differently than it did under Agilent?
Jay Alexander: We don't expect any changes at all. We have a rich relationship with our direct sales offices, service centers, channel partners, and distributors around the world. These are all valuable assets.
Martin Rowe: DesignCon, an event that grew out of HP/Agilent, is important for your company. What name will be on your booth?
Jay Alexander: We will be Agilent. Keysight won't be a legal entity until August 1, 2014.
Martin Rowe: Jay, thank you for your time. I look forward to seeing you at DesignCon to talk about oscilloscopes and the new company.
Jay Alexander: I'll be there.
—Martin Rowe, Senior Technical Editor