History

It started over 70 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 startups known as Farnell in Europe, and eventually Asia, and Newark in North America each began with a simple mission – put customers first. Help them get what 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 millions of customers and hundreds of thousands of products shipped a day. 
 
Along the way we have charted our own course, delivering industry first innovations that have redefined 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
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 the Raspberry Pi computer