Varian Associates was one of the first high-tech companies in Silicon Valley. It had its first headquarters in San Carlos 1948. At the time, Varian Associates had $22,000 of capital and six full-time employees, receiving technical and business assistance from several members of the faculty at nearby Stanford University. Its founders Russell H. and Sigurd F. Varian, William Webster Hansen, and Edward Ginzton with their first product, the klystron – the first vacuum tube which could amplify electromagnetic waves at microwave frequencies, and other electromagnetic equipment.

Over the years, through internal development and various business acquisitions, Varian Associates grew and developed new devices and uses for its products, including applications for radar, electronic warfare, communications, medical, industrial and scientific markets. The Electron Device Business of Varian Associates became a technological leader in microwave and x-ray generating devices and electronic equipment to drive these devices.

In August 1995, Varian Associates sold the Electron Device Business to Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., a private equity fund, and members of management. Together, they formed Communications & Power Industries, Inc. Today, CPI continues its long tradition of shaping the future through innovation and discovery. In fiscal 2021, CPI employed approximately 2,700 people and generated approximately $700 million in sales.

PHOTO: Original headquarters of Varian Associates in San Carlos, California, circa 1949

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