Zebra buy of Motorola unit raises questions for LI workers

Motorola in Holtsville. About 4,500 employees are expected

Motorola in Holtsville. About 4,500 employees are expected to join Zebra from Motorola Solutions' primary facilities dealing with the enterprise market in Holtsville, Schaumberg, Ill., and Plantation, Fla., once the transaction is completed. (Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

An executive at Zebra Technologies Inc. said Wednesday that staffing levels at a facility in Holtsville will be determined at year end, after Zebra's $3.45 billion acquisition of Motorola Solutions Inc.'s enterprise business has closed.

Zebra's deal, announced Tuesday, includes the 800- worker Holtsville unit, which formerly was the headquarters of Long Island tech innovator Symbol Technologies.

Zebra, a Lincolnshire, Ill.- based bar-code company, said the deal will broaden its logistics capabilities and create or expand its footprint in more than 100 countries.


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Motorola's enterprise business makes hand-held bar-code scanners and mobile and tablet computers, among other products.

About 4,500 employees drawn from Holtsville, San Jose, Calif., and other facilities are expected to transfer from Motorola Solutions once the transaction is completed, giving Zebra about 7,100 employees.

Asked about employment after the merger, Mike Terzich, Zebra's senior vice president, global sales and marketing, said, "After the deal closes toward the end of 2014, leaders of both companies will make appropriate decisions about how the companies will be integrated."

Symbol, which was based in Holtsville, was founded on Long Island in 1975 by bar-code innovator Jerome Swartz.

In 2004, federal prosecutors filed a $200 million securities case against Swartz's successor as CEO and three other top Symbol executives, charging them with enriching themselves by illegally boosting the company's stock value.

Former chief executive Tomo Razmilovic fled to Sweden, which is refusing to extradite him. In January, federal prosecutors filed a lawsuit seeking $12 million that Razmilovic and his wife allegedly hid in accounts in Switzerland.

In 2007, Motorola Inc. acquired Symbol for $3.9 billion. At that time, Symbol had 5,200 employees, including 1,400 in Holtsville. Motorola said at the time the deal would lead to some layoffs.

A former Symbol executive said Wednesday he doubted the Zebra acquisition would have a significant impact on the Holtsville facility, a major engineering center.

Satya Sharma, who left Symbol more than a decade ago as senior vice president and general manager of worldwide operations, and is now executive director of the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology at Stony Brook University, said that, for the most part, the product lines of Motorola's enterprise unit do not overlap with Zebra's.

Motorola Solutions, based in Schaumburg, Ill., was created in 2011, when Motorola Inc. separated its bar-code scanner and public safety radio business from its mobile phone and TV set-top box unit, which became Motorola Mobility.With AP

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