L&H chairman steps down


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 company.

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