Avnet marks 100th year in the tech distribution biz

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Phoenix, USA: Avnet, a global technology distributor is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. With this milestone, Avnet is joining an elite group of companies that have reached their centennial.

Charles Avnet, a 33-year-old Russian immigrant started Avnet as small electronics components shop in Manhattan’s Radio Row district in 1921.

From being a small components shop in the post First World War era to turning into a top global technology distributor in the early 2000s. Avnet has come a long way during the 100 years.

Certainly, not many companies and businesses in the world have achieved this milestone. “Less than one percent of US-based companies achieve this milestone. We are honoured to join the elite group of companies that have made it to their centennial,” said Phil Gallagher, CEO – Avnet.

“In one hundred years, Avnet has gone from a small components shop to a global distributor and solutions provider firmly set at the centre of the technology value chain,” added Gallagher, who appointed as the interim CEO in August 2020.

Gallagher has been working at Avnet for over three decades. He has held executive leadership positions in sales, marketing, and operations. Prior to becoming the CEO, he was leading the position of Global President for Avnet’s electronic components business.

Avnet’s long journey, according to Gallagher would have not been completed without the generations of employees.

“They continue to shape and transform Avnet to meet new market challenges and deliver world-changing technology solutions to our customers and suppliers,” he emphasized.

“Congratulations to the employees, leaders, partners, shareholders and customers who have helped the company reach this landmark anniversary. Your talent, relationships and innovative spirit will help us further drive technology forward in the next century,” added Gallagher.

The company with 15,500 employees, reported $19.5 billion revenue in 2019. During these 100 years, there are many moments, which reflects how Avnet transformed its business capabilities and achieved new heights.

Avnet backed its nearly two decades’ experience in electronics components, in the 1940s and opened its first manufacturing facility to assemble military antennas. The initial success encouraged Avnet to open its second connector assembly plant near Los Angeles in 1956. And three years later, the company was listed on the American Stock Exchange as Avnet Electronics Corp.

Since then the company has kept on transforming and expanding its business from electronics components to semi-conductor technology. In fact, Avnet became the first technology distributor to place an order with Intel in 1969.

The order with Intel actually helped Avnet expand its business in the semiconductor industry during the mid-70s and 80s. The demand and sales of semiconductors during that period almost tripled and surpassed that of electronics connectors. And it operated 33 microprocessor demonstration centres in 1975.

With the rapid growth in the semiconductor business, Avnet forayed in design and engineering services and continued its distribution business. It also invested in large warehousing facilities in the US in the 80s.

While the company successfully established itself as a major technology distributor in the US, it was also eyeing distribution in the Asian markets. By late 90s, the company expanded its distribution and supply chain networks in Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The Phoenix headquartered company acquired 68 entities between 2002 and 2020. Premier Farnell – the maker of Raspberry Pi, Softweb and Witekio are among the acquired 68 companies.

Certainly, the Fortune 500 company today has deep expertise, knowledge and 100 years of industry experience in the field of components distribution and global supply chain.

For Avnet, global distribution remains its core business. But it has also added a new dimension with the latest capabilities in the digital with the offerings of integrated and IoT solutions to diversify revenue streams.

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