More turmoil at L&H with resignations and suspension

Speech-recognition software vendor Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products NV (L&H) continues to suffer internal turmoil. The company has suspended Joo Chul Seo as president and general manager of L&H Korea and removed him as a director of L&H Korea, it announced last week.

On Wednesday, the company announced that Seo is being investigated for apparently misusing US$30 million of the FLV Fund, a venture capital fund affiliated with L&H, as collateral for personal loans. The suspension is effective immediately and Seo has been relieved of all responsibilities, L&H said in a statement.

The FLV Fund, which is not yet operational, pending approval of South Korea’s Ministry of Industry, is focused on speech, artificial intelligence and language technology.

L&H also confirmed the resignations from its board of directors of the company’s former CEO and president Gaston Bastiaens, former co-chair and managing director Pol Hauspie and former managing director Nico Willaert.

Company co-founders Jo Lernout and Hauspie stepped down from their positions as co-chairmen and managing directors on Nov. 9 and Bastiaens, who had been the company’s CEO for four years, resigned on Aug. 25. Bastiaens was replaced by John Duerden, formerly the president and CEO of L&H’s Health Care Solutions Group.

L&H is facing a host of other woes including an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of the company’s accounting practices in the United States, as well as an audit of previously reported sales figures for South Korea. The audit follows allegations in the Asian Wall Street Journal that the company inflated sales figures and falsified its list of customers. L&H denied those allegations as well as similar charges that were made concerning the company’s business in Singapore.

Trading in L&H’s shares has also been suspended indefinitely in Europe and in the United States.

Dong-Hee Kim, formerly a vice-president with the enterprise & telephony solutions division, has been appointed to take over Seo’s responsibilities at L&H Korea while the investigation continues, L&H said.

Lernout & Hauspie, with dual headquarters in Ieper, Belgium and Burlington, Mass., can be reached at FLV Fund, in Ieper, Belgium, can be reached at

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Cybersecurity in 2024: Priorities and challenges for Canadian organizations 

By Derek Manky As predictions for 2024 point to the continued expansion...

Survey shows generative AI is a top priority for Canadian corporate leaders.

Leaders are devoting significant budget to generative AI for 2024 Canadian corporate...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now