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Keane founder hands reins to sons

John Keane says he will hand over his role as chief executive of the services and consulting firm to his son Brian Keane, and his role as president to his son John Keane Jr.

Keane founder John Keane today said he will hand over his role as chief executive of the services and consulting firm to his son Brian Keane, and his role as president to his son John Keane Jr.

John Keane Sr., 68, will remain as chairman of the company he helped grow into one of the largest services and consulting firms. Keane Sr., who founded the Boston-based company in 1965, will stay actively involved in strategic issues, key customers, and mergers and acquisitions.

Since September 1997, Brian Keane, 38, and John Keane Jr., 39, have served as co-presidents, responsible for all of Keane's operations and corporate functions. The company said that in their new positions, the brothers will assume leadership responsibility for the firm, and will work as a team to guide the company's growth strategy and market positioning.

The Keane brothers take the helm at a critical juncture, just after the company reported a weak third quarter and predicted continued softness into the fourth quarter as companies defer new computer projects until after New Year's because of Year 2000 concerns.

"We are in an exciting and dynamic industry that demands innovation and new ideas and, as we approach the dawn of the 21st century, it is the appropriate time to turn to Keane's next generation of leadership," John Keane Sr. said in a statement. "Brian and John have been instrumental in transforming Keane over the past few years."

The father said that his sons have helped establish Keane as a strong player in the new e-solutions and applications outsourcing markets and helped the company expand internationally.

"These initiatives are expected to drive Keane's growth over the next several years," he added.

Brian Keane has been with the company since 1987 and John Keane Jr. has been there since 1988. Both brothers attended Harvard Business School.