Frans van Houten

Netherlands Earns Philips, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Peter Dejong/AP/REX/Shutterstock (6791339a) Frans van Houten Philips CEO Frans van Houten arrives for a press conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands, . Royal Philips NV has reported a return to profitability in the fourth quarter, with operating profits up in all its main businesses: lighting, consumer appliances and health care equipment. The company Tuesday reported net profit of 409 million euros ($559 million), compared to a loss of 423 million euros in the same period a year earlier when it was fined 509 million euros for price-fixing in the TV market. Fourth quarter sales rose 0.6 percent to 6.80 billion euros, which for Philips would have been a 7 percent rise comparing like-for-like businesses and stripping currency effects Netherlands Earns Philips, Amsterdam, NetherlandsPeter Dejong — AP/REX/Shutterstock
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    Royal Philips

Not many CEOs have engineered the kind of transformation that van Houten has executed at Philips, steering the 126-year-old Dutch firm through a “radical pivot,” as he calls it—transforming an Old World maker of electronics and lighting into a leader in health care technology. Under his stewardship, Philips has shed slower-growth businesses (it sold its television unit and spun off the lighting business) and invested heavily in R&D to focus on meeting the “world’s unmet needs.” Over the past 12 months, Philips has grown revenues by 30% and profits by 83%. Shareholders, for their part, have gotten a three-year total return of 67%. —Leigh Gallagher