Management change at language technology firm

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Lernout & Hauspie, known for its speech and language technologies, has named John Duerden as its new president and chief executive officer. Duerden is CEO of its Health Care Solutions Group, and was formerly the chairman of Dictaphone Corporation.

John Duerden replaces Gaston Bastiaens, who is credited with leading the company through an important phase in its development.

“By acquiring Dictaphone and Dragon Systems, L&H gained access to a talented pool of managers,” said Gaston Bastiaens. “I’m very pleased with the appointment of John Duerden as my successor.”

As CEO of Dictaphone, acquired by L&H in May, Duerden spearheaded the transformation of the company from a traditional hardware manufacturer into a software-based leader in digital voice-driven network and Internet solutions.

“John’s strong management reshaped Dictaphone into a 21st century leading-edge technology company,” said Jo Lernout, co-founder of L&H. “We are confident that he will bring the leadership to help us continue our successful vision.”

Earlier, Duerden was president of sports shoe company Reebok. Joining the company in 1988, he built the company’s international markets, growing business in Europe and Asia from $150 million to $1.5 billion in just five years.

“I share the enthusiasm and vision of Jo and Pol for the extraordinary possibilities of our core technologies, our worldwide presence, and our strategic partnerships,” said Duerden.

Duerden will serve on the executive committee, along with company founders Jo Lernout and Pol Hauspie, and Nico Willaert, vice-chairman, and Roel Pieper, vice-chairman of L&H and of Computer Associates.

“During the last four years, Gaston has made our company the undisputed leader in speech and language technologies and solutions,” said Pol Hauspie, co-founder and co-chairman of the Board. “We thank him for his unflagging dedication to the company.”

Lernout & Hauspie makes the speech user interface the keystone of simple, convenient interaction between humans and technology, and uses advanced translation technology to break down language barriers. The company provides a wide range of offerings, including: customized solutions for corporations; core speech technologies marketed to OEM’s; end user and retail applications for continuous speech products in horizontal and vertical markets; and document creation, human and machine translation services, Internet translation offerings, and linguistic tools.

Lernout & Hauspie

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