Digi-Key is the fifth largest electronic component distributor in North America and a broad-line distributor of board level components. It ranks as the 9th largest electronic component distributor in the world. Dr. Ronald Stordahl founded the company in 1972 and its name was derived from his digital electronic keyer kit that he developed and marketed to amateur radio enthusiasts. It was called the “Digi-Keyer Kit.” Mark Larson, who joined Digi-Key in 1976 as its general manager, has been its president since 1985. He has led the company from its initial focus on the hobbyist market to the expanded market it serves today. In 1996, Digi-Key introduced its website that offers complete online commerce capabilities along with access to its product inventory. Digi-Key currently hosts 22 websites in eight languages. In only six years, Digi-Key has moved from 16th largest to fifth largest among the more than 300 electronic component distributors in North America. According to their website, in 2007 EE Times conducted a survey in which engineers rated Digi-Key “#1 for Overall Performance for the 16th Consecutive Year.” Digi-Key is located in a single, centralized location in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. Its facility measures 600,000 square feet (56,000 m2) and houses 1,900 employees. Its product distribution center stocks over 300,000 products from over 380 manufacturers and ships to 140 countries worldwide. Digi-Key plays a dominant role in serving design engineers and the prototyping market, as well as a rapidly expanding role in supplying production quantities for OEMs and contract manufacturers.