Lee to Take Zenith Helm

Zenith Electronics Corp. said president and CEO Ian Woods will leave the company this fall and be replaced by Tokjoo (T.J.) Lee, currently president of LG-IBM, a joint venture between IBM Corp. and Zenith's South Korea-based parent company, LG Electronics Inc.

Wood, who has been Zenith's CEO since November, said he will return to his native Australia in mid-October, noting in a press release that the decision to relinquish his position was "difficult." Wood and Lee will collaborate on a transition plan, Zenith said.

The move comes at a time when Zenith is reinventing itself following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy-law-reorganization plan formulated last year.

The company recently parted out its network-systems unit to Motorola Broadband Communications Sector-a deal that pared down Zenith's role as an electronics-equipment manufacturer but pushed forward its reorganization plan.

Zenith phased out its cable-modem efforts last year and scrapped production of analog-cable set-tops in early 1998 to make room for a digital migration strategy.

Zenith said it would keep a hand in the cable industry, however. It plans to stay involved in Cable Television Laboratories Inc.'s OpenCable process and to sell equipment via retail channels in 2001 and beyond.

Zenith is also developing a high-definition-enabled satellite box, which is set to debut later this year.