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Bastiaens bails from L&H

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Gaston Bastiaens has resigned from his post as CEO of translation software company Lernout & Hauspie. The move follows months of uncertainty over the success of his management style, according to Jo Lernout, co-founder and co-chairman of L&H.

In a conference call just concluded, Lernout made it clear that Bastiaens' management style had been under discussion for a couple of months - with the company having grown swiftly from 200 to more than 5,000 staff, it was felt a different management style was needed.

Lernout said that John Duerden, who previously ran L&H's medical transcription business, had that necessary background, and had been appointed CEO and president. Duerden has been an executive with Xerox, and co-president of Reebok International.

Bastiaens is not the only senior exec leaving L&H. Ellen Spooren, senior VP of marketing and corporate communications, will also be resigning in due course, but is sitting tight for the time being. Asked about why she was leaving at the same time, L&H said that they "had been a team for a number of years" (they previously worked together at Quarterdeck) and that she had done "a fantastic job".

Bastiaens had been criticised for an aggressive acquisition policy, but he has managed to put together a company that is the dominant independent player in the speech and language field.

Bastiaens will continue as a major shareholder and be on the board, but will no longer be active in the management of the company. His departure was said to be unrelated to the an article in the Wall Street Journal questioning L&H's sales in Korea. ®

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