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Agilent Technologies

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Agilent Technologies, Inc.
Company typePublic
  • Healthcare equipment and services
PredecessorsTest & Measurement, Semiconductor Groups of HP
Founded1999; 25 years ago (1999)
HeadquartersSanta Clara, California, U.S.
Area served
Key people
ProductsInstruments, software, services and consumables for laboratory use
RevenueDecrease US$6.83 billion (2023)
Decrease US$1.35 billion (2023)
Decrease US$1.24 billion (2023)
Total assetsIncrease US$10.8 billion (2023)
Total equityIncrease US$5.85 billion (2023)
Number of employees
c. 18,100 (2023)
  • Agilent CrossLab Group
  • Diagnostics & Genomics Group
  • Life Sciences & Applied Markets Group
Footnotes / references

Agilent Technologies, Inc. is a global company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, that provides instruments, software, services, and consumables for laboratories. Agilent was established in 1999 as a spin-off from Hewlett-Packard. The resulting IPO of Agilent stock was the largest in the history of Silicon Valley at the time.[2][3] From 1999 to 2014, the company produced optics (LED, laser), semiconductors, EDA software and test and measurement equipment for electronics; that division was spun off to form Keysight.[4] Since then, the company has continued to expand into pharmaceutical, diagnostics & clinical, and academia & government (research) markets.[5]

Products and services[edit]

Handheld spectrum analyzer used by the 527th Space Aggressor Squadron.

Agilent serves analytical laboratories and the clinical and routine diagnostics markets with a full suite of technology platforms. These include: automation, bioreagents, FISH probes, gas and liquid chromatography, immunohistochemistry, informatics, mass spectrometry, microarrays, spectroscopy, target enrichment, and vacuum technologies.[6]

Agilent also provides lab management services, including enterprise asset management, laboratory business intelligence, equipment management and service, software maintenance, regulatory compliance, sample preparation, genomics and cloning, GC and HPLC columns, spectrometry and spectroscopy supplies, and consumables.[6] The company is known for investing in R&D within its own research labs and those of leading universities to advance the state of knowledge in the life sciences, diagnostics, and chemical analysis space.[7]

In recent years, the company has advanced digital lab instrumentation and technology that improves lab workflow and overall efficiency and productivity. In 2020, Agilent introduced CrossLab Virtual Assist, a mobile app that facilities high-quality remote technical support.[8] Agilent’s digital advancements, including CrossLab Connect, have also improved lab optimization and sustainability by providing more efficient utilization of instruments, which can lower a lab’s energy consumption.[9]

Agilent is also a pioneer of the target enrichment used as part of a NGS workflow. The portfolio also includes sample prep, QA/QC instrumentation, 2100 bioanalyzers, and automation tools. [10]

In early 2023, the company announced a $725 million expansion of its nucleic acid-based therapeutics manufacturing facility in Frederick, Colorado.[11]


Agilent Technologies was created in 1999 as a spin-off of several business units of Hewlett-Packard[12] including test & measurement, optics, instrumentation and chemical analysis, electronic components, and medical equipment product lines.[13][note 1] The split was predicated on the difficulty of growing HP's revenue stream and on the competitive vigor of smaller, more agile competitors.[14] The company's launch slogan was "Innovating the HP Way", which capitalized on the strong HP corporate culture.[14] The starburst logo was selected to reflect "a burst of insight" (or "spark of insight")[15] and the name "Agilent" aimed to invoke the notion of agility as a trait of the new firm.[14] The Agilent spin-off was accompanied by an initial public offering which raised $2.1 billion, setting a record at the time.[2]


In the early 2000s, "economic uncertainty" depressed demand for Agilent's products,[16] including slow sales of health care products to hospitals in the United States, which accounted for 60% of the company's revenue at the time.[12] The downturn also struck sales in the communications and semiconductor markets, where orders amounting to $500 million were canceled by buyers.[17] These poor economic conditions prompted large reductions in force; from a headcount in 1999 of 35,000, which had risen to 48,000 by May 2001,[17] it had by early 2003 cut 18,500 positions.[16] In 2001, in midst of this downsizing, Agilent sold its health care and medical products organization to Philips Medical Systems,[18] and was noted as having a valuation of about $11 billion.[19] HP Medical Products had been the second oldest part of Hewlett-Packard, acquired in the 1950s.[citation needed]

In August 2005, Agilent announced the sale of its business which produced semiconductor integrated circuits (known as "chips") for consumer and industrial uses to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Silver Lake Partners for $2.66 billion.[2] This move was part of a broad effort to concentrate "on the test-and-measurement business at its historic core," and would entail termination of about 1,300 of the company's 28,000 employees.[2] The group operated as a private company, Avago Technologies, until August 2009, when it was brought public in an IPO. After purchasing Broadcom Corporation in 2016, Avago changed its name to Broadcom Limited.

Also in August 2005, Agilent sold its 47% stake in the light-emitting diode manufacturer Lumileds to Philips for $1 billion.[2] Lumileds originally started as Hewlett-Packard's optoelectronics division.

Also in August 2005, Agilent announced a plan to divest its semiconductor test business, composed of both the system-on-chip and memory test market areas.[2] Agilent listed the new company as Verigy on the Nasdaq in mid-2006.

2010 onwards[edit]

In 2009, Agilent announced the closure of a subsection of its Test & Measurement division. The product lines affected included the automated optical inspection, solder paste inspection, and automated X-ray products [5DX] in 2004. In 2011, the company, along with the University of California, Davis, announced that it would be establishing the "Davis Millimeter Wave Research Center".[20] Agilent announced it would increase its life sciences engagement through the acquisition of Halo Genomics, based in Uppsala, Sweden, which was involved in next-generation sequencing technology development.[21]

On May 17, 2012, Agilent agreed to buy Dako, a Danish cancer diagnostics company, for $2.2 billion, to expand its presence in the life sciences industry.[22]

On September 19, 2013, Agilent announced its decision to separate into two publicly traded companies: Agilent, a life sciences, diagnostics, and applied markets company, and an electronic measurement company.[23] The life sciences company retained the Agilent name and the electronic measurement company was called Keysight Technologies.[24] On October 14, 2014, the company announced that it is exiting its Nuclear Magnetic Resonance business.[25] On November 1, the formal separation of Agilent and Keysight Technologies was completed.[3] Agilent announced it had completed the spin-off of its electronic measurement business, Keysight Technologies. [26]

Hewlett-Packard Co., Agilent's predecessor, acquired F&M Scientific Corp., maker of gas chromatographs, on August 8, 1965. In September 2015, the company announced it would acquire Seahorse Bioscience for $235 million.[27]

On July 7, 2016, Agilent announced that they had acquired U.K. based Cobalt Light Systems, which develops and manufactures Raman spectroscopy instruments, for £40 million in cash.[28] In December the company acquired Multiplicom N.V.[29]

In January 2018, the company announced it would acquire Luxcel Biosciences, increasing the company's cell analysis portfolio.[30] In May, Agilent acquired Lasergen, Inc. after the end of its two-year option on a prior investment.[31] In the same month it acquired digital laboratory management company, Genohm,[32] Ultra Scientific, provider of chemical standards and reference materials[33] and Advanced Analytical Technologies, Inc. (AATI), provider of capillary electrophoresis-based molecules for $250 million in cash.[34] In August the company announced it would acquire glycan reagent producer, ProZyme, Inc.[35] and South Korean instrument distributor, Young In Scientific Co. Ltd.[36] In September Agilent acquired ACEA Biosciences for $250 million increasing the company's presence in cell analysis technologies.[37] In August 2019, Agilent acquired US-based BioTek Instruments, a designer, manufacturer, and distributor of life science instrumentation, for $1.165 billion.[38][39]

On May 1, 2024, Padraig McDonnell succeeded Mike McMullen as CEO.[40]


  1. ^ Year of establishment: at least one alternative source (Fordahl 2005) places the start year for Agilent as 2000.


  1. ^ "Agilent Technologies 2023 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 20 December 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Fordahl, Matthew (17 August 2005). "Agilent to sell chip unit for $2.66 billion, cut 1,300 jobs". Ukiah Daily Journal. Ukiah, California. p. 3. Archived from the original on 29 July 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-27 – via Newspapers.com.Open access icon
  3. ^ a b Arensman, Russ (1 October 2002). "Unfinished business: managing one of the biggest spin-offs in corporate history would be a challenge even in the best of times. But what Agilent's Ned Barnholt got was the worst of times". Electronic Business. 28 (10). Reed Business Information. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Agilent Technologies Spins Off Its Electronic Measurement Business, Keysight Technologies". www.investor.agilent.com. 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2022-07-07.
  5. ^ Philippidis, Alex (2022-01-24). "Agilent CEO: "We're Not Just a One-Year Wonder!"". Mary Ann Liebert.
  6. ^ a b "Agilent | Agilent Solutions". www.chem.agilent.com. Archived from the original on 4 November 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  7. ^ "Investing in the Future of Our People and Our Planet Through Science". Analysis & Separations from Technology Networks. Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  8. ^ "Agilent CrossLab brings Ultra Inert liners to your whole lab". Chemical & Engineering News Archive. 90 (43): obc. 2012-10-21. doi:10.1021/cen-09043-ad22. ISSN 0009-2347.
  9. ^ "Sustainability through Lab Optimization in the Digital Era". Lab Manager. Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  10. ^ Philippidis, Alex (2022-01-25). "Agilent CEO Talks Diagnostics, Genomics, and 2022 Headwinds". GEN - Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News. Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  11. ^ Svaldi, Aldo (2023-01-09). "Agilent Technologies picks Frederick for $725 million manufacturing plant expansion". The Denver Post.
  12. ^ a b Staff (15 August 2000). "Agilent plans to shed 450 full-time workers". Marketplace. Santa Cruz Sentinel. p. 20. Archived from the original on 1 August 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-28 – via Newspapers.com.Open access icon
  13. ^ "Agilent Technologies: оборудование для измерений, тестирования и химического анализа" [Agilent Technologies: Equipment for measurement, testing and chemical analysis]. DM Lieferant. Archived from the original on 2015-08-12. Retrieved 2015-07-27.
  14. ^ a b c Belasen, Alan T. (2007). "The Power of Symbols: Creating Corporate Identity at Agilent Technologies (Case Study)". The Theory and Practice of Corporate Communication: A Competing Values Perspective. Los Angeles, California: SAGE. p. 54. ISBN 9781412950350. OCLC 122974220 – via Google Books (preview).
  15. ^ "HP names spin-off 'Agilent'". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Associated Press. 29 July 1999. Archived from the original on 1 August 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-28 – via Newspapers.com.Open access icon
  16. ^ a b "Agilent Technologies slashes 4,000 more jobs". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Associated Press. 24 February 2003. Archived from the original on 1 August 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-28 – via Newspapers.com.Open access icon
  17. ^ a b Bergstein, Brian (18 May 2001). "Agilent earnings fall short". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Archived from the original on 1 August 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-28 – via Newspapers.com.Open access icon
  18. ^ "Agilent spins off medical supply group to Royal Philips". Santa Cruz Sentinel. California. Associated Press. 18 November 2000. Archived from the original on 29 July 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-28 – via Newspapers.com.Open access icon
  19. ^ Bergstein, Brian (13 January 2001). "William Hewlett dies at 87". Santa Cruz Sentinel. p. A1. Archived from the original on 1 August 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-28 – via Newspapers.com. HP's test and measurement equipment divisions were spun off last year into Agilent Technologies, Inc., an $11 billion business.Open access icon
  20. ^ Mokhoff, Nicolas (3 August 2011). "Agilent and UC Davis form millimeter research center". EE Times. San Francisco, California. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-28.
  21. ^ "Agilent Acquires Two Life Science Companies" (Press release). Agilent Technologies. 7 December 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2015-07-28 – via Drug Discovery & Development.
  22. ^ Scott, Mark (17 May 2012). "Agilent to Buy Dako for $2.2 Billion". DealB%k. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 18 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
  23. ^ "Agilent to spin off electronic measurement business". Reuters. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  24. ^ "Agilent Technologies officially spins off e-measurement business Keysight". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  25. ^ Andy Extance2014-10-23T00:00:00+01:00. "Agilent to exit NMR". Chemistry World. Retrieved 2020-12-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  26. ^ "Company History - About Keysight". about.keysight.com. 31 October 2017. Archived from the original on 21 February 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  27. ^ "Agilent to Acquire Seahorse Bioscience for $235M". 9 September 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-04-27. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  28. ^ "Agilent Technologies Acquires Raman Spectroscopy Innovator, Cobalt Light Systems | Agilent". www.agilent.com. Archived from the original on 2017-09-22. Retrieved 2017-11-02.
  29. ^ "Agilent to Acquire Multiplicom, A Leading European Diagnostics Company with State-Of-The-Art Genetic Testing Technology and Products".
  30. ^ "Agilent Expands Cell Analysis Portfolio with Luxcel Acquisition - GEN". GEN. 9 January 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-01-10.
  31. ^ "Agilent Completes Acquisition of Lasergen, Inc".
  32. ^ "Agilent Completes Acquisition of Genohm".
  33. ^ "Agilent Technologies to Acquire Assets of Ultra Scientific".
  34. ^ "Agilent Technologies Completes Acquisition of Advanced Analytical Technologies, Inc".
  35. ^ "Agilent Technologies Completes Acquisition of ProZyme".
  36. ^ "Agilent Completes Acquisition of Young in Scientific Co. LTD. Assets".
  37. ^ "Agilent Acquires Cell Analysis Tools Developer ACEA Biosciences". 26 September 2018.
  38. ^ "Agilent Technologies acquires US firm BioTek Instruments". NS Medical Devices. 2019-08-27. Retrieved 2020-04-03.
  39. ^ "Agilent Completes Acquisition of BioTek Instruments". www.biospectrumasia.com. Retrieved 2020-04-03.
  40. ^ "Meet Padraig McDonnell, Agilent's new CEO". www.agilent.com. Retrieved 2024-05-02.

Further reading[edit]


News items[edit]

  • Frank, Steve (10 September 2000). "Playing the Net". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Retrieved 2015-07-28 – via Newspapers.com. Q: Last month I purchased shares of Agilent Technologies and the price has gone up and down since then. Are its future prospects solid?Open access icon

External links[edit]

  • "History Links: HP, Agilent, EDS, Compaq, Tandem..." Hewlett-Packard Alumni Association, Inc. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  • "Patents assigned to Agilent". US Patent and Trademark Office. Archived from the original on 3 May 2017. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  • Business data for Agilent Technologies: