For over 90 years, Superior Essex has forged a path by meeting and exceeding the wire and cable requirements for the automotive, industrial, commercial, residential, energy and communications markets.
We proudly trace our history back to 1930, when the Essex Wire Corporation was founded in Detroit, Michigan. Meanwhile, Superior Cable Corporation was founded in 1954, in Hickory, North Carolina. After many years of growth and change, in 1999, Superior TeleCom (formerly Superior Cable) acquired Essex International (formerly Essex Wire) and together they formed the company we are globally known as today – Superior Essex – now based in Atlanta, Georgia.
We continue to expand our product portfolio globally with new innovations and manufacturing throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Thanks to strategic acquisitions focused on future-forward communications technology development and product sustainability, Superior Essex Communications has positioned itself as the industry leader of communications cable product innovation, design and manufacturing.
Early Years — 1930s & 1940s
Undaunted by the financial crisis and Great Depression, Addison E. Holton, then director of Anaconda Wire and Cable, put together a consortium of partners – called Essex Wire Corporation – and acquired the Ford Motor Company's wire assembly operations. The company incorporated on February 15, 1930, in Detroit, Michigan; employed 700 workers; and served as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for some of the first Fords to roll off the assembly line.
Change & Growth — 1950s & 1960s
In 1954, Superior Cable Corporation was founded in Hickory, North Carolina. At the time, the firm produced plastic insulated, twisted pair cable and wire.
Mergers & Market Shifts — 1970s & 1980s
From 1970 to 1974 there were numerous merger talks that fell through regarding the acquisition of Essex, until one came to pass.
In one of his last acts as CEO, O'Malley completed the merger of Essex with United Aircraft Corporation of East Hartford, Connecticut, making the company a wholly-owned subsidiary.
New Opportunities — 1990s
The early 90s was a period of recognition for the brand as it was awarded a Mark of Excellence from General Motors, as well as ISO 9000 and QS 9000 world-wide quality certifications.
The culture of the company moved quickly into the computer age, increased attention to employee work-life balance and encouraging community service. It looked to reduce cost and increase capacity for future growth.
Innovation & Sustainability — 2000s & 2010s
By 2003, Stephen M. Carter was named as the new CEO of Superior Essex. Under Carter's leadership, in 2004, the company acquired the North American outside plant communications (OSP) cable and wire operations of Belden, Inc. The purchase price of approximately $95 million freed Belden from a market where it had not been able to turn a profit for several years.
Future-Forward — 2020 Onward
On February 15, Superior Essex celebrated its 90th anniversary as a company while looking forward to another 90 years of innovation.
Racing — 1960s to Today
In 1965, Essex sponsored the Ford Racing Team giving the brand a chance to showcase its largest customer as well as its magnet wire technology.
The result was a very successful partnership as the team finished fourth in the US Road Racing Championship circuit. The car, known affectionately as "Ollie the Dragon," got its nickname as it regularly shot fire from out of the hoodscoop.