Avnet celebrates 100 years in business

26 January 2021

Avnet is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, a milestone few companies have achieved.

The distribution giant is celebrating the feat with its Centennial Central site that documents the company’s history with a series of videos looking at it achievements for a century.

Avnet began as a post-World War 1 electronics shop in 1921 and opened its first manufacturing facility to build military antennas in 1940. In 1955, Avnet was incorporated and the company opened its second connect assembly plant in 1956. In 1965, Avnet purchased Guild Musical Instruments and the company manufactured guitars in the 1960s and 1970s. Avnet landed on the moon for the second time in 1968 providing zero-defect components to Hughes Aircraft that built the surveyor soft-landing lunar spacecraft. A year later, Avnet became the first distributor for Intel.

Avnet operated 33 microprocessor demonstration centers in 1975 and launched its second mega-warehouse in 1988. From 2000 to 2020, Avnet acquired 68 companies including Premier Farnell, Softweb and Witekio and began selling its first Raspberry Pi in 2012. By 2020, Farnell has sold 15 million of the 30 million Raspberry Pis sold.

“In one hundred years, Avnet has gone from a small components shop to a global distributor and solutions provider firmly set at the center of the technology value chain,” said Phil Gallagher, CEO of Avnet. “These last hundred years have been driven by generations of employees who continue to shape and transform Avnet to meet new market challenges and deliver world-changing technology solutions to our customers and suppliers.”

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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