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Press Releases

January 25, 2021 | ChannelPro

Avnet Celebrates 100 Years of Accelerating Technology and Distribution

Global technology solutions provider reaches centennial milestone

At a time of major global change, leading technology solutions provider Avnet (NASDAQ: AVT) is marking the company’s 100th anniversary in 2021, joining an elite group of companies that have reached their centennial. From its origins on Radio Row, the Manhattan warehouse district famous for its post-World War I electronics shops, to its current position as a top global distributor, Avnet has spent the last century navigating the complex technology landscape and helping its customers do the same.

“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”

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This milestone represents a century of transformation and resilience, and Avnet’s Centennial Central website celebrates the people, values and foundation that have helped the company thrive over its 100-year history.

“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,” said Phil Gallagher, CEO. “Less than one percent of U.S.-based companies achieve this milestone. We are honored to join the elite group of companies that have made it to their centennial. 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. 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.”

Throughout the years, Avnet embarked on a continuous transformation alongside the ever-evolving technology market. Resiliency, adaptability and execution have been key as Avnet continues to enable its customers and accelerate technological development through its expertise in components distribution and deep knowledge of the global supply chain. Today, Avnet is continually strengthening and evolving its core business, managing the complex global environment with diverse revenue streams that drive top-line growth while continuing to innovate and accelerate our differentiated capabilities such as digital, Avnet Integrated and IoT solutions. The company continues to help supplier partners deploy their technologies to meet end customers’ needs. Avnet is ranked #169 on the FORTUNE 500, #579 on the Forbes Global 2000, and has been named one of Ethisphere’s Most Ethical Companies for seven consecutive years.


  • 1921: Avnet was founded by Charles Avnet, a 33-year-old Russian immigrant.
  • 1940s: The company opened its first manufacturing facility to assemble state-of-the-art military antennas—remaining at the forefront of innovation by helping master this technology and condense delivery times to help the U.S. war effort.
  • 1955: Avnet was incorporated.
  • 1956: The company opened its second connector assembly plant near Los Angeles, Calif.
  • 1959: Avnet goes public on the American Stock Exchange as Avnet Electronics Corp.
  • 1965: Avnet purchased Guild Musical Instruments. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, the company made guitars and counted The Beatles and Richie Havens among its customers.
  • 1968: Avnet landed on the moon for the second time. The company provided a range of zero-defect components to Hughes Aircraft, which built the Surveyor soft-landing lunar spacecraft. The fifth Surveyor touched down at the Tycho Crater on January 10,1968. This is also the same year that Avnet entered the Fortune 500, at #467.
  • 1969: Avnet became the first technology distributor to place an order with Intel.
  • 1975: Avnet operated 33 microprocessor demonstration centers, as semiconductor sales were almost triple that of connectors.
  • 1979: Avnet opens the U.S. distribution industry’s first Asia stocking location in Tokyo.
  • 1984: When chip supply began outstripping demand and created an excess of inventory throughout the semiconductor industry in the 1980s, Avnet revolutionized the industry by centralizing and automating its inventory management in its first mega-warehouse in Peabody, Mass.
  • 1987: Avnet launches a second mega-warehouse in Chandler, Ariz., linking the two with a proprietary online transaction processing computer system named “Genesis” in 1988.
  • 1993: Avnet was the only distributor in the US to offer all five American semiconductor lines.
  • 1997: Avnet Design Services is launched to meet customers’ demand for engineering and technical assistance.
  • 1999: Avnet opens a distribution center in Singapore and a warehouse in Hong Kong.
  • 2000-2020: Avnet acquired 68 companies, including Premier Farnell, Softweb and Witekio.
  • 2012: Farnell begins selling the first Raspberry Pi, the Model B. By 2020, Farnell had sold 15 million of the 30 million Raspberry Pis sold.
  • 2021: Avnet celebrates its 100th anniversary with a continued commitment to furthering today’s ideas into tomorrow’s technologies.

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About Avnet

As a leading global technology distributor and solutions provider, Avnet has served customers’ evolving needs for an entire century. We support customers at each stage of a product’s lifecycle, from idea to design and from prototype to production. Our unique position at the center of the technology value chain enables us to accelerate the design and supply stages of product development so customers can realize revenue faster. Decade after decade, Avnet helps its customers and suppliers around the world realize the transformative possibilities of technology. Learn more about Avnet at

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Avnet Media Contacts
Jeanne Forbis

Alex Jafarzadeh
Brodeur Partners, for Avnet

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