Wang Laboratories was a computer company founded in 1951 by Dr. An Wang and Dr. G. Y. Chu. The company was successively headquartered in Cambridge (1954–1963), Tewksbury (1963–1976) and Lowell, Massachusetts (1976–1997). At its peak in the 1980s, it had revenues of $3 billion/year and employed over 40,000 people.
The company was always directed by Dr. Wang, who played a personal role in setting business strategy and product strategy and thus must be credited both with the company's successes and failures.
Dr. Wang took steps to ensure that the Wang family would retain control of the company even after going public. He created a second class of stock, class B, with higher dividends but only one-tenth the voting power of class C. The public mostly bought class B shares; the Wang family retained most of the class C shares. (The letters B and C were used to ensure that brokerages would fill any Wang stock orders with class B shares unless class C was specifically requested). Wang stock had been listed in the New York Stock Exchange, but this maneuver was not quite acceptable under NYSE's rules, and Wang was forced to delist with NYSE and relist on the more liberal American Stock Exchange.
Under his direction, the company went through several distinct transitions between different product lines.
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