Zebra Technologies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Zebra Technologies
S&P 400 Component
Industry Computer hardware
Founded 1969[1]
Founder Ed Kaplan
Gerhard Cless
Headquarters Lincolnshire, Illinois, USA
Area served
Key people
Michael A. Smith
Chairman of the Board
Anders Gustafsson
CEO Director
Products RFID printers/encoders, barcode printers, mobile printers, card imaging printers, kiosk printers, real-time locating systems, UWB and related supplies and services
Revenue Decrease $3.6 billion - 2016[2]
Increase $80.0 million - 2016[2]
Increase -$137.0 million - 2016[2]
Total assets Decrease $4,632 million - 2016[3]
Total equity Decrease $792 million - 2016[3]
Number of employees
7,100 - Spring 2014
Website www.zebra.com

Zebra Technologies is a public company based in Lincolnshire, Illinois, USA, that manufactures and sells marking, tracking and computer printing technologies. Its products include thermal barcode label and receipt printers, RFID smart label printers/encoders/fixed & handheld readers/antennas, and card and kiosk printers that are used for barcode labeling, personal identification and specialty printing principally in the manufacturing supply chain, retail, healthcare and government sectors. In 2013, the company had sales of $1.038 billion and had a market capitalization of $3.6 billion.[2]

The company has offices in 26 countries, channel partners in more than 100 countries and more than 7,000 employees worldwide. Zebra-brand printers are used by more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies.[4]


Zebra Technologies office in Heerenveen, The Netherlands.

Zebra was incorporated in 1969 as "Data Specialties Incorporated", a manufacturer of high-speed electromechanical products. The company changed its focus to specialty on-demand labeling and ticketing systems in 1982 and// became "Zebra Technologies Corporation" in 1986. Zebra became a publicly traded company in 1991. Since 2008, Zebra has outsourced the majority of its printer manufacturing to Jabil Circuit in Guangzhou, China.[5]

In 1998 Zebra Technologies merged with Eltron International, Inc.[6] In 2000 Comtec Information Systems was acquired,[7] followed in 2003 by the acquisition of Atlantek, Inc.[8]

In 2004 the company expanded into RFID smart label manufacturing,[9] acquiring Retail Systems International, Inc. (RSI) the next year.[10] In the following years Swecoin,[11] WhereNet Corp,[12] Proveo AG,[13] and Navis Holdings, LLC (later divested in 2011)[14] were acquired.

The company established the Enterprise Solutions Group (ESG) in 2008; renamed as Zebra Enterprise Solutions (ZES) in 2009. In the same year Multispectral Solutions, Inc. was acquired.[15] In 2012 the company acquired LaserBand, LLC[16] and StepOne Systems in a cash purchase price of $1.5 million.[17]

2013 saw the acquisition of Hart Systems for $94 million in cash from the private equity firm Topspin Partners LBO.[18] In 2014, Motorola Solutions' Enterprise business was bought in a $3.45 billion transaction, providing mobile computing and advanced data capture communications technologies and services.[18]


Zebra Technologies has more than 80 offices worldwide,[19] with regional headquarters in Lincolnshire, Illinois, and Miramar, Florida, in the United States; Bourne End, Buckinghamshire in the United Kingdom; and Singapore.[citation needed]

In April 2014 the company employed more than 2,500 people worldwide. Upon the closing of the Motorola Solutions' Enterprise business acquisition, Zebra’s workforce was expected to grow by 4,500 employees and its patent portfolio predicted to exceed 4,100 U.S. and international patents.[20]

In its annual report for the year ended December 2015, the company said it provided products and services in over 170 countries, with approximately 120 facilities and 7,000 employees worldwide.[21]