History

Our history started over 80 years ago with two businesses on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Each breaking new ground as the radio industry was changing the way the world communicated. The entrepreneurial start-ups known as Farnell in Europe, and eventually Asia, and Newark in North America each began with a simple mission – help customers get the parts they need, when they need it.

The world has changed a lot since the 1930s. The radio engineer has given way to other sorts of engineers: maintenance and facilities engineers, industrial engineers, design engineers, student engineers, and the purchasing professionals who work with them. And what was a simple trade counter and catalogue business has evolved into a global technology company, with over 30,000 products shipped per day.

Along the way we have charted our own course, delivering industry first innovations that have defined what is expected of a high-service distributor.

1934 – Newark Electronics founded
1939 - A.C.Farnell Limited founded
1990’s - First to offer eProcurement capabilities
1996 – Premier Farnell plc established following Farnell’s purchase of Premier Electronics, which included the Newark Electronics, MCM and Akron Brass brands
2004 - Thought leader in RoHS legislation to segregate compliant product
2006 - New strategy launched – focus on Design Engineers, Web, Internationalization, and Profitable MRO
2007 - Inaugural LiveEdge environmental design challenge; peel-back packaging innovation
2008 - iBuy launched
2009 - element14 Community launched; introduced DesignLink and award-winning biodegradable packaging; joined the United Nations Global Compact; acquisition of CadSoft
2010 - The Ben Heck Show debuts; achieved Platinum level status in the Business in the Community Index; Asia Pacific region becomes element14
2011 - The Knode on element14 launched; listed in the Dow Jones sustainability index; element14 TV debuts
2012 – Launch of the Raspberry Pi computer; acquisition of Embest
2013 – Strategy evolved to focus on Customer Centric Segments, Multichannel Sales & Marketing and International
2014 – Acquisition of AVID Technologies