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In a long anticipated move, Symbol Technologies announced this morning that President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Nuti has taken the reins as Chief Executiver Officer from former CEO and acting chairman, Richard Bravman.

Bravman steps down in the wake of a government investigation into accounting irregularities at the company. According to a company announcement, he voluntarily relinquished the job in an effort to facilitate a favorable conclusion to a government investigation into Symbol’s past accounting practices. Bravman is expected to remain as a senior advisor to Nuti and the board for 12 months.

Nuti, former senior vice president for both the United States Theater Operations and Worldwide Service Provider program at Cisco Systems, joined Symbol in July, 2002. Previously, he had served as Cisco’s President of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). During his tenure, EMEA doubled Cisco’s business to more than $7 billion in annual revenues.

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“Now that we are nearing the end of our long investigation into accounting improprieties by the former management of Symbol, our associates will be happy to have this chapter of the Company’s history behind us,” said Nuti. “We believe that Symbol is extremely well positioned to capitalize on our accomplishments of this past year, and our clear leadership in the enterprise mobility space. As we continue to stay focused on business plan execution, Symbol will establish itself as an important player in the future of the technology industry.”

Nuti praised Bravman, calling him “a talented executive who has served Symbol well for more than 25 years. In the time I’ve known him, I’ve found him to be ethical and to always act with integrity. It is most unfortunate that we are losing such a qualified executive under these circumstances but Rich is taking this action because he believes it is in Symbol’s best interest. He will be missed by all in the Symbol family.”

Those circumstances were detailed in a company news release that said: “In the second quarter of 2001, Bravman participated in a single transaction initiated by others at Symbol that involved the premature recognition of approximately $860,000 in revenue. Bravman then informed his superior at the Company that he would not participate in such a transaction again. In early 2002, while under consideration for president of the Company, Bravman discussed the transaction with certain members of the board. After becoming president, he also discussed his involvement in the transaction with certain members of then-current senior management. Later in 2002, after he had been appointed CEO, Bravman detailed his role in the transaction to the outside counsel investigating the Company’s past accounting practices. Bravman directed counsel to disclose that information to the government promptly.”

Bravman said, “While this is a tremendously difficult decision for me personally after being part of Symbol’s growth and success over the past 25 years, stepping aside at this juncture is in the best interests of the Company, its employees, its customers and its shareholders. When I learned that my connection to this transaction might influence the outcome of the government’s investigation of Symbol, I realized that this is the right thing to do. I have enormous confidence in Bill Nuti and the leadership team we now have in place, and believe Symbol is in excellent position to thrive.”