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Ex-Quarterdeck CEO finds new home

Gaston Bastiaens, former chief executive of Quarterdeck, lands the presidency of Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products, a speech technology developer.

Gaston Bastiaens, former chief executive of Quarterdeck, has landed at Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products (LHSPF) as president.

He will be joined by Quarterdeck's chief technology officer and the corporate communications vice president, who both left the software maker to joined Bastiaens at LHS, a speech technology developer for the telecommunications, computer, multimedia, and consumer electronics industries.

Bob Kutnick, former chief technology officer, left Quarterdeck on September 27 to hold a similar position with LHS. Information was not available on whether Quarterdeck, which is undergoing cost-cutting and workforce reductions, would replace him, according to company spokeswoman Audrey Pobre.

Ellen Spooren, former vice president of corporate communications, also left Quarterdeck in September. She will assume a similar title with LHS starting tomorrow. Her position at Quarterdeck will not be filled, leaving her duties to be shared by Pobre and the chief financial officer.

Pobre noted that in many industries it is common for key executives to follow a president or chief executive into a new company. "It's a great loss for our company, but they made a decision of what they wanted to do. It's hard to say if there'll be others that follow," she added.

Bastiaens had said he left Quarterdeck in August to pursue a new venture. He left at a time when the company's financial state eroded and prospects for the fourth quarter did not look good as the company awaited to ship new products.

His appointment to LHS, along with Kutnick's new job, were announced last week. Bastiaens and Kutnick were visiting corporate headquarters in Belgium today and could not be reached for comment.

"We are pleased to welcome Gaston to the Lernout & Hauspie management team. Gaston brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the high-technology area that will help guide us through the next phase of our growth," said Jo Lernout, LHS cofounder and chairman.

Bastiaens, in turn, said in a statement that he looked forward to helping the company expand its applications and markets for its speech technologies.