Thomson multimedia timeline (1960-2002)
1960 - Edgar Brandt's death. Jacques Dontot issued
a company-wide memo on January 1, 1960 announcing the decision
to organize Thomson as a number of large divisions, in the same
way as General Electric.
1962 - CFTH acquired Etablissement Bonnet which
specialized in food refrigeration.
1964 - Color TV industry sales achieved one million
1965 -Thomson won a prominent place on the NADGE
program for NATO.
1966 - Paul Richard was elected Vice President of
the Group "Compagnie Française Thomson-Houston-Hotchkiss-Brandt".
RCA opened a tube plant in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
1967 - Thomson merged with CSF which provided France
with a major player in electronics, with a relatively complete
and coherent range of products, technology and skills. Thomson
helped to produce the telecommunications system for the HEOS satellite.
1968 - The merger of Thomson-Brandt took over the
Compagnie Générale de Télégraphie
Sans Fil (CSF) and became number 1 in France. Thomson-CSF, the
professional electronics company was set up.
1969 - RCA constructed a glass plant in Circleville,
Ohio. Paul Richard became Chairman of the Group " Compagnie Française
1971 - Sarnoff died at
age 80. The solid-state XL-100 series of RCA color TV receivers
was introduced. Solid-state TV sales nearly triple during the
year. Thomson and RCA created a new company called VIDEOCOLOR
to produce TV picture tubes in Europe.
1973 - Paul Richard ended the CGE-Thomson agreement
because of the lack of results.
1975 - The first RCA ColorTrak television, the TV
designed to "think in color", was sold.
1976 Thomson-CSF took effective control of the two
companies : Téléphones Ericsson and Le Matériel
Téléphonique (LMT). It thus controlled 42% of the
French market and 6% of the world market for telephone swiching
equipment and systems. Paul Richard died July, 17th. Michel Walhain,
chairman of Thomson-Brandt, and Jean-Pierre Bouyssonie, chairman
of Thomson-CSF, took the helm in July.
1977 The Group acquired Nordmende, a north German
radio and television manufacturer. RCA had introduced ColorTrak
TV sets that " think in color " and the first four-hour home video.
1978 - The Group acquired Telefunken and Dual. A
modernized Nipper returned to market RCA-brand products on television
when Thomson resurrected the famous terrier in 1990.
1979 - RCA reached production of 100 million picture
tubes since 1946.
1980 - RCA constructed the Mocksville, North Carolina,
wood cabinet plant in the heart of America's furniture capital.
Acquisition of Saba.
1981 - Thomson-Brandt
and Thomson-CSF were merged and Jean-Pierre Bouyssonnie was appointed
1982 - The nationalization bill included Thomson,
and the government appointed a new Chairman, Alain Gomez.
1983 - Agreement between Thomson-CSF Téléphone
and CGE was signed : telephones were exchanged for CGE's professional
and consumer electronics and components businesses. The Group
set up a financial holding company, THOMSON S.A. Birth of Thomson
Grand Public. Philips quickly bought up the company (FRLE) handling
lamps, including the well-known Mazda brand.
1985 - A cooperation agreement was signed between
Thomson with Thorn from the U.K. and JVC from Japan. G.E. took
1986 - RCA acquired by GE. A year-and-a-half later,
General Electric sold its RCA and GE consumer electronics business
1987 - Câbles de Lyon, a CGE subsidiary, bought
Thomson-Cuivre Agreement between Thomson and the nationalized
Italian group IRI to set up a subsidiary specializing in civil
semiconductor, SGS-Thomson microelectronics. Thomson bought the
last British consumer electronics manufacturer Ferguson from Thorn.
General Electric took over CGR. Thomson absorbed GE-RCA consumer
1988 - Thomson completes purchase of RCA and GE consumer
electronics businesses from General Electric, creating Thomson
Consumer Electronics. Thus Thomson Grand Public became Thomson
Consumer Electronics (TCE) with Pierre Garcin as Chairman.
1989 - RCA's 50 millionth color TV set was produced
in Bloomington, Indiana.
1990 - Proscan, a new high-end brand, is introduced
by Thomson, Nipper and Chipper began selling RCA consumer electronics.
Nipper was joined by a smaller canine companion named Chipper,
who represents the semi-conductor-based future of digital consumer
1992 - Ground was broken for the new Americas headquarters
1993 - CinemaScreen, the "Television Made For Movies",
became the first widescreen TV available in the U.S. Thomson helped
form the Digital HDTV Grand Alliance. RCA opened a television
assembly plant in Circleville, Ohio.
1994 - As the new Americas headquarters opened, the
RCA Digital Satellite System ushered in a new age in digital home
1995 - Thomson Consumer Electronics changed its name
to Thomson multimedia. Thomson multimedia integrated Thomson Broadcast
Systems (TBS), in order to be positioned in systems of image production,
processing, transport and distribution.
1997 - Thierry Breton became Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer of Thomson multimedia and Chairman of THOMSON
1998 - Thomson launched the thinnest TV screen, WYSIUS.
Thomson multimedia opened its capital to four industrial strategic
partners (Microsoft, NEC, Alcatel, DirecTV).
1999 - Thomson multimedia listed on the Paris and
New York stock exchange.
1999 - Launch on the US market and in autumn, on
the European market of the first digital portable player, the
2000 - Thomson multimedia creates "DIGITAL MEDIA
SOLUTIONS" to enable digital interactive entertainment and streaming
media services. In this context, Thomson multimedia acquires majority
interest in Philips Professional Broadcast and form a strategic
alliance with Carlton Communications in digital terrestrial, interactive
television and media services. In December, the Group launches
in France the first Thomson TAK INTERACTIVE televisions which
give access to a wide, upgradeable range of services.
2001 - The sale of TECHNICOLOR by Carlton Communications
Plc. is completed. Moreover NEC and Thomson multimedia announce
their intention to combine their multimedia plasma display businesses
in a 50/50 joint venture.