Diebold To Change Its Name

8.jpg Is it possible that John Borland’s story this week about Diebold employees scrubbing the company’s Wikipedia page was the final straw?

Not likely. But today Diebold, a company once known primarily for making safes and ATMs, announced that it has decided to put some distance between it and its beleaguered voting machine division — Diebold Election Systems Inc, (aka DESI), which the company purchased from Global Election Systems in 2002.

The company said that after failing to find a buyer for its voting machine business, it was changing the name of the division to Premier Election Solutions Inc (or PESI) and was giving it more “independence” by establishing a separate board of directors to run it.

Diebold said in a statement that it made the decision in part because of “the rapidly evolving political uncertainties and controversies surrounding state and jurisdiction purchases of electronic voting systems.” Diebold did not rule out the possibility of later selling part or all of its ownership in the realigned company.

“While we plan to fully support this business for the foreseeable future, we feel a more independent structure should allow it to operate more effectively,” said Thomas W. Swidarski, president and chief executive.

After five years in the voting machine business, the company currently has more than 25,000 optical scan units and more than 126,000 touch-screen voting machines in use around the country. But it’s long been viewed by analysts that the election division’s repeated bad publicity was bringing the whole company down. Indeed, negative publicity about the division has led to dips in the company’s stock price, and the announcement today comes after analysts downgraded the Diebold stock earlier this week from “buy” to “hold.” read more | digg story

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