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Leitch Hunts for New CEO

Broadcast and professional video and audio equipment manufacturer Leitch is looking for a new CEO after Margaret Craig resigned from the position last month following disappointing fourth quarter results. Stan Kabala, who has been on the company's board of directors since 1996, will serve as interim CEO.

Kabala says he hopes he can find a successor within three or four months.

He'll be busy in the meantime. The fourth quarter revenues were $38.2 million, down 22% from the previous quarter and a 25% drop from the same quarter last year. Leitch calls the results an aberration attributable to factors like the war in Iraq and economic uncertainty.

"I'll be focused aggressively on the cost side and meeting the challenge of changing our cost structure," says Kabala, who will lead the company's efforts to cut costs between 5%-10% in the next two quarters. Product lines and development will not be affected by the cuts.

The company also appointed its first chief operating officer, Salil Munjai. Munjai, previously vice president of corporate developments, will control the company's three product segments: video processing and distribution, video servers, and post-production.

Kabala says early reports show the broadcast and professional market expanding by 10-15% during the upcoming year, although he cautions that the spending in the broadcast market in recent months has not been a direct match to the industry's recovery. "If I were running a broadcast company I'd want to make sure it stayed bounce back before I started making big capital allocations and I think that may part of the reason for the lag in capital allocations."