Created in 1939 by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, Hewlett-Packard soon became the world leader in electronic instrumentation, before diversifying into IT. This diversification was so successful that the IT business came to drown out the original business. The two markets obeyed different logics, Hewlett-Packard decides in 1999 to split into two independent entities. Although the Test&Mesure business had historically been the best known, it had become a minority player, and it was this business that would have to make a name for itself under a new name: Agilent Technologies.
Agilent Technologies started out as a chemical analysis and "Life Sciences" company, complementing its electronic measurement business. This activity rapidly expanded, with the acquisition of Varian in 2010. Today, it accounts for sales of around $3.9 billion, well in excess of the $2.9 billion generated by the electronic test and measurement business. And now, history is repeating itself: this test and measurement activity is to be separated from the Life Science activity and will operate under a new name: for the moment, there is talk of EM Company (Electronic Measurement Company) but this name is said to be provisional.
The demerger will take effect at the end of the year.