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Symbol CEO Takes NCR Helm

UPDATED: Symbol Technologies President and CEO Bill Nuti is leaving his company for a bigger role in the technology arena, taking the helm of National Cash Register (NCR ), officials announced Monday.

Nuti will take over as NCR president and CEO, and become a member of the financial and retail software vendor's board of directors Aug. 8. He replaces the Dayton, Ohio, company's previous chief, Mark Hurd, who left in March to run HP .

John Ringler, NCR chairman and interim CEO, said Nuti was a unanimous choice among the board to lead the company and expects he will fit right in at NCR.

"Bill is an experienced and results-driven executive with strong global technology experience, particularly in areas of interest to our company," he said in a statement.

"After considering carefully a number of outstanding candidates, Bill's proven ability to lead complex organizations, and his track record of building high-performance teams and growing revenue truly stood out."

Nuti leaves behind a mixed legacy at RFID and bar code scanner manufacturer Symbol. While Nuti has the confidence of his new boss, Ringler, he leaves behind a company beset with financial and patent troubles.

Symbol announced Monday a $30.5 million net loss for the second quarter of fiscal 2005 with net revenues of $885.2 million. According to Sal Iannuzzi, Symbol's interim president and CEO, the net loss was expected as it restructures its organization.

In December 2003, the company restated its finances and lost its CEO after the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) launched an investigation into its accounting practices. Nuti, who was president and COO at the time, was named CEO the same day.

Symbol has also had problems on the patent front. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) launched an investigation Thursday against the company for importing and selling disputed RFID technology. The complaint, which alleges violations of the Tariff Act of 1930, was filed by Intermec Technologies on June 30 and is the latest round in a bitter patent dispute between the two companies this year.

Nuti, for his part, is looking forward to his new leadership role at NCR and didn't have anything to say about current events at Symbol.

"I see a lot of opportunity at NCR to take a very healthy company with a strong brand and superb technology and build it into an even greater business," he said in a statement. "It's an exciting time for the company and I'm looking forward to working with the team to take NCR to an even higher level of performance."

Before joining Symbol, Nuti worked at equipment manufacturer Cisco Systems as senior vice president for worldwide service provider and U.S. theater operations, as well as president of the company's Europe, Middle East and Africa operations. Prior to that, Nuti has held positions at IBM , Network Equipment Technologies and Netrix Corp.

Nuti's reign at Symbol, and the difficulties faced with a corporate restructuring and SEC investigation, might have given him a leg up among the other candidates for the NCR job. John Hourigan, an NCR spokesman, said the leadership skills Nuti displayed at both Symbol and Cisco served him well in the board's final decision.

"His track record at Symbol, and certainly even before that at Cisco, of generating revenue and building high-performance teams shows that he has the necessary competencies to generate success across our businesses and markets going forward," he said. "He really stood out as the top choice."