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A legacy of agility

Rooted in innovation

Rooted in the sale of radio parts in downtown Manhattan, Avnet was founded in 1921 and has since grown into a leading global distributor​ of electronic components, IT solutions, embedded technology and services.

Avnet offices in 1950's

Connecting vital equipment

The onset of the Korean conflict in 1950 set business thriving for Avnet founder Charles Avnet and his sons Lester and Robert. The three Avnet men busily assembled electronic connectors for missile systems, airplanes and other applications to their customers’ specifications. The company incorporated as Avnet Electronic Supply Co. in 1955 and complementary components such as capacitors, fasteners and switches soon followed.


Avnet moved past the industrial and military trade and into the consumer electronics market with the purchase in 1960 of audio equipment company British Industries Corp. Microprocessors, die casting machines, guitars, perfume bottles and television antennas were added to product offerings.

Refocusing the business

The recession of the mid-1970s forced Avnet to fine-tune its assets, selling off units that no longer made sense. The company’s strategy focused on sales, warehouse or stocking facilities, developing new products, reinforcing relationships and expanding markets. It also began investing in electronics and computing technology.

Seeing global

Avnet began moving across the world in the 1990s, turning the switch on a global data warehouse in 1999 that allowed customers throughout the world to track their order status. The company continues to lead innovation throughout the industries of supply chain solutions, design chain services, value-added services, global logistics management, electronic components sourcing and more.

A journey of ideas

Avnet has evolved from radio parts distributor to a global leader in electronic components, computer products and technology services and solutions.