Fujitsu is to kill off ICL, arguably the oldest and best-known brand in British computing, in a move that follows the failure to float the software and services business.
ICL (International Computers Limited), whose business has been trading for 33 years, will adopt the Fujitsu corporate name by the end of March 2002. Full details of the corporate renaming will come in September, which will doubtless give our LogoWatch column something to chew over. But we digress.
The long planned floatation of ICL was called off last August, prompting the resignation of then chief executive, Keith Todd.
Fujitsu said consolidating its brands would help it market its service offerings and enable it to stand out as a global supplier. New Jersey-based DMR Consulting is also to rebranded under the Fujitsu umbrella.
Since 1998 Fujitsu became the sole shareholder of ICL.
Richard Christou, chief executive officer of ICL, has sent a memo to staff welcoming the forthcoming name change and using the fig leaf of "market and employee research" to justify the move without acknowledging the effect of the abandoned IPO. ®
Date: 21 JUNE 2001
Message from: RICHARD CHRISTOU
RE: ICL's INTENTION TO MOVE TO THE FUJITSU BRAND
I am happy to announce to you ICL's intention to move to the Fujitsu brand. This intention will also be announced today to our customers, partners, and suppliers, together with key analysts and the press.
ICL has a long and successful association with the Fujitsu Group; over the last 20 years our association has developed and in 1998 Fujitsu became our sole shareholder. In this time, the Fujitsu Group itself has evolved with the target of building a unified Global identity as a leader in the Internet era. The Group is now entering the second year of the brand development programme, initiated by Fujitsu President Akikusa in June 2000, which includes a three year $500 million global advertising campaign. Built around 'the possibilities are infinite', this will heighten global awareness of Fujitsu and its subsidiaries.
Earlier this year, ICL commissioned extensive market and employee research on the perceptions of the ICL and Fujitsu brands. The research clearly showed that ICL's employees, customers and partners strongly support a move by ICL to the Fujitsu brand with its association of global IT leadership, clear long-term strategy and substantial investment in research and development.
As a result, President Akikusa has today announced in Tokyo, ICL's intention to move our brand to Fujitsu within this financial year. In line with this development, it has also been announced that DMR Consulting is moving their brand within a similar timescale. Clearly, this announcement represents continued commitment from Fujitsu to ICL, and I am pleased to attach to this announcement a letter from President Akikusa showing his support for this important development in ICL's evolution.
ICL has become a trusted brand associated with technical competence and high quality IT services. We will retain these values in our move to the Fujitsu brand and carefully combine the strengths of the two brand personalities. In addition, migration to the Fujitsu brand represents strong opportunities for ICL employees as Fujitsu strengthens its position as one of the world's largest IT companies.
We are working on the next stages of this programme and will continue to communicate with you as it progresses. For now, please help share the good news that this announcement represents, and continue to focus on today's business challenges to achieve our strategic goals.
Chief Executive Officer, ICL
Fujitsu to Consolidate Global IT Solutions Brand