Avnet, Inc. is a technology Business-to-business B2B distributor headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. Electronics Supply & Manufacturing magazine reports that Avnet Inc., a Fortune 500 company, may be the world's largest franchised distributor of electronic components and subsystems. Avnet has 16 centers and locations in more than 34 countries.

Operating Groups

Avnet Electronics Marketing

Avnet Technology Solutions

Avnet Logistics

Avnet Logistics employs more than 1,600 people and occupies approximately of warehousing space in 16 global locations, principally in North America, Europe and Asia.

Avnet provides technical services such as IC programming, connector and cable assembly, and tape-and-reel and customized packaging.

Industry analysts say the key to Avnet's long-term success is its supply chain management solutions, which include forecasting component demand, distribution management, Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) and Just in Time delivery.


In 1921, Charles Avnet, a 33 year old Russian immigrant, began buying surplus radio parts and selling them to the public on the Radio Rows of United States port cities. In the mid 1920's, when factory-made radios began to replace radio parts, Avnet adjusted his distribution pipeline and began selling parts to manufacturers and dealers. During the depression Avnet shifted the focus from relating to wholesalers.

In the mid 1920's to the early 1930s, Avnet diversified by branching out into car radio kits and automobile assembly kits. In World War II Avnet made antennas for the U.S. armed forces. His son, Lester Avnet, joined the business at this time.

Avnet was incorporated in 1955. In 1956 a second connector assembly plant was opened in 1956 near Los Angeles for the aircraft industry. In 1959 the company went public on the American Stock Exchange. In the mid 60's Avnet briefly owned several record labels including Liberty Records and Blue Note. Over the next ten years Avnet expanded with several acquisitions in the new fields of semiconductors, relays, and potentiometers.

Origin of company name

The name Avnet is a family name that traces back to the company's founder Charles Avnet. His two sons (Lester and Robert) continued to run the family business business until 1970.

Charles Avnet's granddaughter, Cindi Avnet, is the Director of Music Placement for the company and is starting a music management company in 2008. She also formed a philanthropy group that throws music related charities for various non-profit organizations.

Charles Avnet's grandson Jon Avnet sold his shares in the family business to pursue a career in the movie industry, using those resources to produce the successful 1983 movie Risky Business, which made Tom Cruise a star.


Avnet has locations in 34 countries. This list is incomplete.

  • Phoenix (headquarters), [Center]
  • Belgium [Center]
  • San Antonio, [Center], IBM Business Partner Innovation Center opened July 19, 2006. It's Avnet's only IBM Business Partner Innovation Center in North America, IBM has over 50 centers in the United States. The center will bring companies to San Antonio to see the latest in IBM technology and to test hardware and software. The center is the largest computer vendors/dealer in San Antonio.

Competition and clientèle

Avnet has segments in several different industries. This list is incomplete.


Direct Competitors
*Arrow Electronics
*Future Electronics

Electronic Components Distribution

Manufacturing Services
*EMS providers, such as Flextronics and Solectron

Logistics Services
*Electronics Industry Data Exchange Group (EIDX)
*Third-party logistics providers (3PLs) such as UPS, Federal Express and DHL


  • Xilinx, One of Avnet Logistics' major clients, developer and manufacturer of computer hardware chips.


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