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Thomas & Betts Corporation is a comprehensive leader in innovative cable protection systems, wire and cable management, safety technology, HVAC building solutions, power connection and control and engineered transmission structures. This company designs, manufactures, and markets electrical and electronic components and connectors that are used to assemble, maintain and repair electrical, electronic and communication systems. For 100 years they have provided products that make electrical wires come to life. Their products are sold worldwide through mass merchandisers, catalogs, home centers and distributors.
Thomas & Betts Corporation is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee and has more than 150 manufacturing, distribution and office facilities located in about 20 countries. It operates as a subsidiary of ABB Ltd.
Thomas & Betts Corporation is a top global manufacturer and designer of various connectors and components for distribution to electrical and communication markets.
Thomas & Betts Corporation was founded by two young engineering graduates from Princeton University, Hobart D. Betts and Robert M. Thomas, in 1898. They began selling rigid conduit to electrical distributors in New York in 1898. Incandescent electric lighting had just been introduced to New York City.
During 1912, business was going strong, so Thomas and Betts acquired the Standard Electric Fittings Company located in Stamford Connecticut. This big move caused the company to venture into manufacturing electrical conduit. By 1917, they moved their headquarters to Elizabeth, New Jersey where their engineering, manufacturing and sales divisions shared the same facility.
In 1921, Nestor J. MacDonald joined the company as a salesman. He later became the President and CEO of Thomas & Betts because he was able to focus on meeting the needs of the users. He also introduced their products directly to electrical contractors, contributing to the company’s long-term success.
In 1927 G.C. Thomas, Robert Thomas’ nephew, realized the great potential that awaited the company in northeastern Canada. This realization was the one that has made Thomas & Betts one of Canada’s leading purveyors of electrical components to this day.
From 1939 to 1945 the company ranked as one of the 12 plants most critical to the war effort thanks to their products that became indispensable in the wiring of military planes, ships and tanks. Their achievements were recognized by the United States Military.
The company’s success continued in the following years. The company’s stock gained a listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 1962. In 1968, the company formally became Thomas & Betts Corporation.
In 1992, the company acquired American Electric. After a year, Thomas & Betts moved its headquarters to Memphis, Tennessee, which is where American Electric had been based. Thomas & Betts then acquired The Amerace Corporation and Augat Inc. in 1996. However, in 2000, Thomas & Betts’s global electronics connectors business sold to Tyco International at an estimated $750 million.
In 2012, ABB purchased Thomas & Betts for an estimated $3.9 billion. This made them a well-known name in low-voltage products in the North American market. Because of this acquisition, ABB was able to advance its strategy of expanding its low-voltage products into new sectors and regions. The joint venture created a broader low voltage offerings and provided substantial opportunities that created value to shareholders.
Thomas & Betts Corporation became the largest supplier of electrical components in North America due to its legacy of product innovation, an extensive distribution network and its stellar customer service. Moreover, the company’s comprehensive product portfolio and order fulfillment capabilities enabled it to deliver a value proposition to its distribution customers in “one order, one shipment, and one invoice.”
In 2009 to 2010, the company focused on efforts based on market orientation, customer-centric product innovation and value-added solutions. This was done to rebuild the profitable growth after the global financial crisis. A new customer segmentation model also enabled the company to understand the demands of end users better in different market verticals and to tailor offerings to their needs.
Because of ABB’s acquisition of Thomas & Betts in 2012, issues arose concerning how Thomas & Betts could maintain its distinctive business model and capabilities while completing the integration with ABB’s global organizational structure. Nevertheless, the company insisted that to understand the actions and capabilities required “customer-centric innovation and fuel profitable growth by delivering exceptional value from primarily ‘low-tech’ products is the company’s learning objective.”
8155 T&B Boulevard
Memphis, TN 38125