Flextronics Said to Change Name to Flex as It Seeks to DiversifyPeter Burrows
Flextronics International Ltd. will change its name to Flex to highlight the company’s efforts to expand beyond the traditional electronics industry, people with knowledge of the change said.
Flex will announce the name change on July 24, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information hasn’t been released yet.
The manufacturer rose to prominence in the 1990s building personal computers, mobile phones and routers for other companies, including Hewlett-Packard Co. and Cisco Systems Inc. Since then, Flextronics has lost market share to rivals such as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. and Pegatron Corp. Flextronics’ revenue has declined to $26.2 billion in fiscal year that ended in March, from a 2009 peak of $31 billion.
“We’ve had huge diversification already,” Chief Executive Officer Mike McNamara said in an interview on July 7. “We’re more than just an electronics manufacturing company.”
In recent years, Flextronics and other contract manufacturers have expanded into new markets and added additional services, such as product design and distribution of finished goods. The name change follows efforts by the company to become a manufacturer for companies involved in the Internet of Things, or products that are connected to the Web.
“There’s margin available for manufacturers who can do more than just build something cheaper in China,” McNamara said in the interview.
Flex’s diversification effort has created 10 businesses with more than a billion dollars in annual sales outside of its traditional business, including energy-related products such as solar panels and automotive infotainment systems, according to McNamara.
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