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DigiKey Corporation
Company typePrivate
IndustryElectronics distribution
Founded1972 (1972)
FounderRonald Stordahl
Area served
Key people
Revenue$3 billion (2018)[1]
Number of employees

DigiKey Corporation (formerly written as Digi-Key) is an American company based in Thief River Falls, Minnesota that distributes electronic components. The company was founded in 1972 by Ronald Stordahl. DigiKey is the fourth largest electronic component distributor in North America and the fifth largest electronic component distributor overall.[3] The company is privately owned by Stordahl.[4]

The name "Digi-Key" is a reference to the "Digi-Keyer Kit", a digital electronic keyer kit that Stordahl developed and marketed to amateur radio enthusiasts. Electrical schematics for the electronic keyer were published in the April 1968 of the radio publication QST.[5]


After earning a degree in electrical engineering at the University of Minnesota, Ronald Stordahl returned to his hometown of Thief River Falls, Minnesota where he took up ham radio in the early 1970s. Stordahl created a kit of electronic parts to improve transmission of Morse code over his radio. He soon began selling kits to other ham operators, and eventually branched off into the distribution of other electronic components, allowing customers to purchase parts in any quantity, no matter how small. The company quickly grew and by 1984 it was located in a one million square foot facility next door to Arctic Cat, a snowmobile manufacturer.[6]

In 1996, DigiKey launched their website, gradually shifting focus towards e-commerce. The first international domain was launched in 1996 in Canada, this would later expand to over 40 local domains.[7]

DigiKeys logo used until 2023

Mark Larson, who joined DigiKey in 1976 as its general manager, became president in 1985. He has led the company from its initial focus on the hobbyist market to the expanded market it serves today.[4] In 2015 Larson stepped down from his role within the company and transitioned to a board position. On June 1, 2015 Dave Doherty, who served as the Executive Vice President of Operations at Digi-Key, transitioned to Larson's position as President and Chief Operating Officer.[8]

DigiKey continued to grow following the recession in 2008.[9] By 2017, DigiKey was located in a single, centralized location in Thief River Falls, Minnesota that measured 800,000 square feet (74,000 m2). In 2017 the company began work on a one million square foot expansion to their Thief River Falls facility at an expected cost of $200 million to $300 million. The expansion was helped by government incentives and tax exemptions and was expected to add another 1,000 jobs at Digi-Key.[10]

By 2018, the company had annual revenue of $2.3 billion and more than 3,500 employees.[6]

In March 2018, DigiKey announced an expansion for a 1 million square foot building with over 2.2 million square feet of usable space. This space will include receiving, shipping, warehouse, and storage space for the nearly 1.5 million products ready for immediate shipment. The building was officially opened on August 17, 2022.[11]

On September 29, 2021, DigiKey announced a global distribution partnership with QuickLogic Corporation, a fabless semiconductor company. [12]

In November 2022, DigiKey was granted their first patent for a 'Tray for transporting and storing electronic components'.[13]

In May 2023, a DigiKey employee, Steven Opdahl, was punched, kicked, and beaten to death by Jorge Benitez-Estremera,[14] who claimed Opdahl was "contaminated and needed to be taken out of the system."[15]

During the summer of 2023, DigiKey celebrated their 50th Anniversary, an event which was delayed the previous year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[16][17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Top 50 Electronics Distributors 2018 - #5 Digi-Key Electronics". SourceToday. May 11, 2018.
  2. ^ ""About DigiKey"". Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  3. ^ "Digi-Key Company History". Digikey.com. Digi-Key Corporation. Archived from the original on 8 June 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  4. ^ a b Rako, P (2006-09-28). "Voices: Digi-Key: growing up, privately". EDN. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  5. ^ https://www.digikey.com/en/blog/updating-the-original-digi-keyer
  6. ^ a b Reinan, John (March 21, 2018). "From a box of radio parts, Digi-Key grew into a $2.3 billion anchor of northwest Minnesota". Star Tribune.
  7. ^ "About DigiKey | DigiKey". www.digikey.com. Retrieved 2022-02-08.
  8. ^ Hageman, John. "UPDATED: Digi-Key vice president takes president position; president moves to board". Grand Folks Herald.
  9. ^ "In tough economy, Minn. firm faces unusual problem". Minnesota Public Radio News. 2010-04-09. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  10. ^ Brian Bakst (2017-08-31). "Digi-Key boom brings good problems to Thief River Falls". MPRNews. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  11. ^ "Digi-Key Celebrates Ribbon Cutting of Product Distribution Center Expansion". www.morningstar.com. 2022-08-17. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  12. ^ "Digi-Key Electronics Announces Global Partnership with QuickLogic Corporation Through the Digi-Key Marketplace".
  13. ^ "Digi-Key Electronics Awarded U.S. Patent for Tray to Transport and Store Electronic Components". automation.com. Retrieved 2023-01-27.
  14. ^ Carvell, Tasha. "Suspect charged in brutal murder of employee at Digi-Key". The Mighty 790 KFGO | KFGO. Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  15. ^ trftimes (2023-05-12). "TRF man charged with murder outside of Digi-Key". Thief River Falls Times & Northern Watch – Official Page. Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  16. ^ Electronics, Digi-Key. "Digi-Key Celebrates 50 Years of Fueling Innovation Around the World". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2024-03-27.
  17. ^ Powell, Mark (2023-04-03). "Digi-Key Celebrates 50 Years of Innovation". Modern Distribution Management. Retrieved 2024-03-27.

Further reading[edit]