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Distribution Central acquired: All you need to know about Arrow

Mike Gee | March 14, 2016
Arrow's official background and fast facts

In 1980, a fire in a hotel conference center killed 13 members of Arrow's senior management, including Glenn and Green. Waddell assumed leadership and, in 1982, recruited Stephen P. Kaufman, formerly a partner of McKinsey & Company, to join Arrow as President of the company's Electronics Distribution Division. Kaufman succeeded Waddell as CEO in 1986 and as Chairman in 1994.

During his nearly two decades of service, Kaufman was the architect of Arrow's bold consolidation of the U.S. electronics distribution industry as well as the company's pioneering expansion into Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Under Kaufman's leadership, Arrow reshaped the landscape of worldwide electronics distribution, completing over 50 acquisitions of electronics distributors, including such prominent names as Ducommun (Kierulff), Lex (Schweber), Zeus, Anthem, Bell, and Wyle (all in the U.S.), Spoerle (Germany), Silverstar (Italy), and CAL (Hong Kong and China). Kaufman also led the company into the national distribution of commercial computer products, initially through its acquisition of Gates/FA Distributing. Arrow entered the 21st century with global sales of $US9 billion-$US6 billion of electronic components and $US3 billion of computer products.

Kaufman stepped down as CEO in 2000, retired as Chairman in 2002, and was succeeded by Daniel W. Duval, a 15-year Arrow board veteran. In 2003, William E. Mitchell, former President of the Global Services Division of Solectron Corporation, joined Arrow as Chief Executive Officer and, in 2006, became Chairman. During Mitchell's six years at Arrow, sales climbed to $17 billion as the company increased shareholder returns, achieved record operating efficiencies, and completed 17 acquisitions.

Michael J. Long succeeded Mitchell as CEO in 2009 and as Chairman in 2010. A seasoned Arrow executive, Long joined the company in 1991 through the Lex acquisition and served in a number of increasingly senior management positions before becoming CEO. Since Long's appointment, Arrow has completed over 35 strategic acquisitions that further expand its global components and computer systems businesses, project the company into the unified communications arena, and add reverse logistics and end-of-life management to Arrow's product-life-cycle services.

In 2015, Arrow ranked as number 131 on the Fortune 500 list (based on 2014 sales of $US22.8 billion).

Source: ARN 


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