January 19, 2001, 11:51 AM — Struggling speech and language technology maker Lernout
& Hauspie Speech Products NV (L&H) announced Thursday yet another shakeup
in its up management. Just days after the departure of the company's chief executive
officer (CEO), L&H revealed that Roel Pieper has resigned his position as
chairman of the company.
"I want to give L&H's new CEO, Philippe Bodson, complete latitude
to form a new management team that will guide the company through the next stage
of its recovery plan," Pieper said in a statement. He pointed to opening
room for new leadership as the main reason for his departure, along with pursuing
his professorial goals at a Dutch university.
John Duerden, former CEO at L&H, gave way to Bodson on Tuesday.
Over the past two months, L&H has filed for bankruptcy in both the U.S.
and Belgium. The move toward bankruptcy came after a series of allegations that
employees of L&H had engaged in suspicious financial practices. The U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began an investigation of L&H's
business and accounting practices in late September. The company announced that
it planned to rewrite financial statements for the periods 1998, 1999 and the
first half of 2000.
L&H has developed some of the industry's most advanced speech technology.
Both Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. made significant past investments in the