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September 16, 2006
Symbol Technologies has put itself on the auction block. Motorola has apparently placed a bid. The VAR Guy suspects someone from Symbol leaked the story in order to bring other bidders to the table–fast.
The ultimate buyer will have its challenges. Sure, Symbol dominates the barcode scanner market. And Symbol makes RFID and WiFi technology. But much like Long Island neighbor CA Inc. (formerly Computer Associates), Symbol has suffered from accounting scandals and never really lived up to its promise.
Many observers had high hopes for Symbol when the company named Cisco veteran Bill Nuti as its CEO in late 2003. In fact, The VAR Guy nearly accepted a job offer from Symbol in mid-2004. But accounting problems scared away The VAR Guy and even Nuti, who fled to NCR.
On the upside, Symbol has stabilized its business in recent months. The VAR Guy expects Cisco Systems, Nortel and maybe even IBM to give Symbol a look. But buyer beware. Symbol’s corporate culture is challenging to master and “fast growth” markets like WiFi are filled with competitors.
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