45. More Than a Symbolic Change

When William Nuti became CEO of Symbol Technologies at the start of 2004, he took the reins of a company facing shareholder and government lawsuits and mounting financial losses. Dream job, eh? Working with his handpicked management team, the former number two at Cisco engineered a plan to set Symbol straight and made sure that everyone knew the vision and how his strategy would realize it. Sweeping out the toxic culture helped produce immediate results at the mobile-computing company. By September, revenue had jumped nearly 13% from the year before, to $1.3 billion; the lawsuits were settled; and operating expenses dropped $15.5 million from the previous year. “The company was doing everything largely through brute force,” Nuti says. “And that’s dangerous, because if information doesn’t flow and transparency isn’t part of the culture of the company, that’s how you can get into trouble.”


William Nuti, 41

President and CEO
Symbol Technologies Inc.
Holtsville, New York