Symbol Technologies CEO steps down

Symbol Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and acting Chairman Richard Bravman has resigned from the company, five months after the previous chairman quit amid a U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation into improper accounting. The company also restated earnings as far back as 1998 in a filing with the SEC last week.

President and Chief Operating Officer William Nuti will replace Bravman as CEO, and will be appointed to Symbol's board. Salvatore Iannuzzi, currently lead independent director of Symbol's board, will become nonexecutive chairman as of Tuesday, the company said in a press release.

Symbol manufactures bar code scanners, handheld computers, and wireless LAN devices. The Holtsville, New York, company said it has been under investigation by the SEC with regards to a transaction in which Bravman and other Symbol employees prematurely recognized US$860,000 in revenue.

The transaction occurred in the second quarter of 2001, before Bravman became president and later CEO. He will remain with Symbol as an adviser to Nuti and the rest of Symbol's board for the next 12 months, Symbol said.

Iannuzzi, Robert Chrenc and Melvin Yellin were appointed as independent directors earlier in December to review Symbol's corporate governance practices and to determine the size of its board of directors, Symbol said in a release earlier this month.

The restatements "relate to the timing and extent of revenue recognition as well as several categories of cost of revenue and operating expenses," Symbol said. From 1998 to the third quarter of 2002, Symbol overstated net revenue by a total of US$234.2 million and net earnings by a total of US$324.7 million, it said.

As part of the restatement, Symbol also changed its previous report of US$4 million in net income for 2002 to a net loss of US$58 million for the year after including a pretax charge of US$98.3 million to account for litigation settlements.

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