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544 Valley Forge Rd. Phoenixville PA 19460 - 800-777-3725

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Michael Cowpland and Terry Matthews founded Mitel in 1972 (officially on June 8, 1972). Conventionally, its name is regarded as a combination of the founders’ first names. Cowpland is quoted as stating that it stands for Mike and Terry's Electronics. The pair formed the corporation in order to protect their intellectual property rights of tone to pulse converter design from their employer, who otherwise would have legal ownership rights. They quickly adjusted to produce a telephony tone receiver product (a tone-to-pulse converter for central office use based on Cowpland's Ph.D. Thesis)

Following the success of the tone receiver, the founders extended their interest in the telecommunications industry. Early on the pair realized the significance of the then new microprocessor and software technology to the design of telecom switches. In 1975, they introduced the SX200 PBX. The company grew at a rate of over 100% per year for several years, and reached the $100 million annual revenue mark by 1981.

In 1976, the company expanded into the semiconductor field with the acquisition of Siltex, a bankrupt ISO-CMOS foundry in Quebec. This evolved into a semiconductor division that specialized in mixed signal and thick film hybrid devices. The next major product was a large digital PBX called the SX2000. This integrated the voice and data functions of office systems. It was conceived as moving beyond the PBX to become an Office Controller which would handle both voice and data applications within an organization.

In 1985, the board of directors created enough new shares to sell a controlling interest (51%) to British Telecom. British Telecom left the equipment business a few years later and sold its controlling interest in Mitel to an investment company called Schroder Ventures.

In the meantime, Mitel continued to diversify its product line, introducing the successful SUPERSET line of phone terminals, the GX 5000 Central Office, and the SMART-1 call controller, among others. Additionally, Mitel developed and marketed a line of telecom-focused semiconductor products. Mitel continues to be a leader in the telecommunications industry providing cost effective and highly advanced telephones, controllers and consoles and a myriad of communication devices to businesses ranging from small, medium and large, on a world-wide scale.