HP Alumni Association logo

Independent volunteer group. Not officially endorsed or supported.

EDS history and culture (Electronic Data Systems Corporation)   (Updated Apr 14, 2021.)  Comments about this page to: info@hpalumni.org

See all of HPAA's information for EDS alumni -- pension, stock, career, benefits, networking -- whether or not you ever worked for HP: https://www.hpalumni.org/eds

EDS online:

- For openings posted by recruiters searching for EDS background, benefits and career discussions related to EDS service, and EDS history -- join the EDS Alumni LinkedIn Group.

- There are two very active -- and useful -- independent EDS alumni groups on Facebook:
  Operated by Melinda Lockhart: "EDS Alumni" 19,000 members. (Includes an album of class photos of SED and other courses.)
  Operated by Howard Greif: "EDS Alumni - Proud to be Ex-EDS" 1,100 members.

EDS ownership history:

- Ross Perot founded EDS in 1962, took it public in 1968, and sold it to General Motors in 1984. Perot and his family received more than $1 billion in cash and GM stock. As a GM board member, he attempted to reform GM's management and culture. The company bought out Perot's GM shares at twice the market price in 1986. Perot then formed EDS competitor Perot Systems, which he sold to Dell in 2009.

- At the time of the acquisition, GM had "...more than 100 locations in the U.S. where sizable data processing staffs are employed ...a total of more than 2,000 MIPs [sic] computing capacity in the U.S. as compared to EDS' approximately 150 MIPs... We need EDS professionals in all categories to join our team at GM... people who are willing to respond quickly and be on-site at a GM location immediately; perhaps as early as tomorrow or next Monday. You should also be willing to relocate... If you have the desire and drive to be part of the EDS/GM team, please complete the attached form and give it to your manager today." --July 22, 1984 memo to EDS employees.

- GM spun off EDS in 1996.  "GM's complex relationship with IT"

- The stock plunged from $68 in 2001 (source) to $19 in 2007.

- 2007: EDS' last full year in business: 1% increase in year-to-year revenue worldwide (page AR-1.) Last Annual Report

- EDS stock dropped from a high of $30 in the first quarter of 2007 to a low of $19 in the fourth quarter (page AR-5) Last Annual Report

- The EDS board of directors negotiated the sale to HP. Approved by shareholders owning 98.8 percent of the stock. Source

- HP paid $25.00 per share to the owners of record as of Aug 26, 2008. ($13.9 billion -- a 32% premium over the market price of $18.86 before announcement. NYTimes ) Details and HPAA advice for former EDS employee shareholders 

- "EDS had approximately 140,000 employees as of 12/31/2007. HP had approximately 172,000 total employees as of 10/31/2007, including more than 70,000 services employees." Source

- When EDS was sold to HP, it was temporarily structured as a wholly-owned subsidiary called "EDS, an HP Company." On Sep 23, 2009, it was renamed "HP Enterprise Services."

- 2012: "HP has provided support services to Medicare and Medicaid clients for 44 years, handling 35 percent of all Medicare and Medicaid claims in the United States and processing 2.4 billion healthcare transactions annually, including 1 billion in healthcare claims. HP provides an array of technology services for CMS and Medicare contractors, including data center services, maintenance of the Medicare Part B system and non-base system support." HP press release

- On Oct 21, 2015, Hewlett-Packard Company spun off Hewlett Packard Enterprise (no hyphen; singular.)

- 2016: Fortune article summarizing the HP Breakup.

- HPAA's unofficial list of EDS Acquisitions

- 2017: DXC formed from merger of CSC with HPE's enterprise services business.

- 2020: DXC sells U.S. State & Local Health and Human Services business to private equity company Veritas Capital for $5 billion in cash. New company named Gainwell Technologies. CRN article

EDS culture:

- "Eagles don't flock, you have to find them one at a time." – Ross Perot

- The "Grass Roots Wisdoms" are listed and discussed in a short book by former EDS executive coach Gary Hassenstab. ISBN-10: 1537116061

- "A Unique One-Time Opportunity" – by Eric O'Keefe; Copyright Morton H. Meyerson. More than 50 EDSers share the story of the history and culture through 1970. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 2012) ASIN: 1478273321

- "Liberation Management" – by Tom Peters. Chapter: "World's Largest Project Organization in the World's Zaniest Industry." Knopf (1992) ASIN: 0394559991   ASIN: 0449456781

- "My Experience In The House That Perot Built. I’ve been rather successful and I owe a lot of it to the training I got at EDS." Online memoir by Alan Canton

- "The GM system is like a blanket of fog. I come from an environment where, if you see a snake, you kill it. At GM, if you see a snake, the first thing you do is go hire a consultant on snakes. Then you get a committee on snakes, and then you discuss it for a couple of years. The most likely course of action is -- nothing. You figure the snake hasn't bitten anybody yet, so you just let him crawl around on the factory floor. We need to build an environment where the first guy who sees the snake kills it. " 1988 interview with EDS founder Ross Perot in Fortune -- four years after GM bought EDS. Nine months later, GM bought out Perot's GM shares at twice the market price.

$14M Dallas symphony hall donation from Perot. "Don't name it after me." Dallas D Magazine article.


Classic EDS ads:

- "Cat Herders" (Super Bowl, January 2000)  https://adage.com/videos/eds-cat-herders/897

- "Airplane" (Thanksgiving, 2000)  https://adage.com/creativity/work/airplane/12924

- "Running of the Squirrels" (Super Bowl, January 2001)  https://adage.com/videos/eds-running-with-squirrels/877

Detailed article about the first ad, the campaign, awards, and news coverage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_Herders

Marketing case study: http://marketing-case-studies.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/cat-herders-campaign.html


EDS history. 2012 article series in Dallas Morning News -- "The lost legacy of EDS" [Limited number of free articles.]

Part 1: The Perot Era. "In the beginning, 1962, there was one very ambitious employee, Ross Perot."

Part 2: The GM Era. "In many ways, the dozen years of the GM era were the best and worst of business times for EDS."

Part 3: The era of decline. "After spinoff from GM, EDS’ days of independence were numbered."


Ross Perot obituaries:

Books about EDS:

Ross Perot

- "My Life & The Principles for Success" – by Ross Perot. Summit (September 1996) ISBN-10: 1565302370 

- "Perot: An Unauthorized Biography" – by Todd Mason. McGraw-Hill (April 1990) ISBN-10: 1556232365

- "Irreconcilable Differences: Ross Perot Versus General Motors" – by Doron P. Levin. Little Brown (March 1989) ISBN-10: 0316522112   ISBN-10: 0452263867

- "On Wings of Eagles" – by Ken Follett. Semi-fictionalized account of effort to rescue two EDS executives imprisoned in Iran. Morrow (September 1983) ISBN-10: 0688023711   ISBN-10: 0451213092   ISBN-10: 0451163532

The Hewlett-Packard Alumni Association is operated by former employees who volunteer their time. Not officially endorsed or supported by any company. More about the HPAA

For more mutual help on this topic and many others, join the independent HP Alumni Association. If you were formerly a regular, direct employee of HP, HPInc, or HPE -- or are in the process of leaving -- join the HP Alumni Association. No charge, thanks to HPAA members.

© 2021 Hewlett-Packard Alumni Association, Inc. • By using this site you accept these terms • Operated by former employees who volunteer their time. Not officially endorsed or supported by any company.