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Leitch hires new leader

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Leitch Technology International
TORONTO - Leitch Technology Corporation today announced that it had completed its CEO search process and has appointed Timothy E. "Tim" Thorsteinson as president and CEO. Mr. Thorsteinson will begin in the role effective Monday.

"We're delighted, after an extensive search, to announce the appointment of a candidate of the caliber of Tim," said David Chaikof, chairman of broadcast gear manufacturer Leitch. "As a broadcast industry professional he brings the type of turnaround experience, industry knowledge and personal relationships we sought. We are excited that we can now move forward to execute the plan to return Leitch to its historical levels of profitability."

Thorsteinson joined Leitch after leaving his position at Thomson Broadcast and Media Solutions where he led the broadcast product line. Formerly the president of the video and networking division of Tektronix, Inc., he also ran the subsidiary company within that division known as Grass Valley Group (GVG). During his tenure at Tektronix, he executed the sale of the GVG business to a private investor group.

At that transition, Thorsteinson departed Tektronix to lead the Grass Valley Group company as its CEO and COO until its acquisition by Thomson. In that position he led the team that returned Grass Valley Group to profitability through focused cost reductions and gross margin improvements across the entire product line and increased share in the video server business, says the Leitch press release.

"Grass Valley also regained the number one position in production switchers and gained significant share in the router, modular and news product areas. At Thomson he led the integration of the Broadcast products of Thomson, Grass Valley, and Phillips and consolidated widely dispersed R&D; efforts," it continues.

"The opportunity to join Leitch and continue the process of transformation of this public company is really exciting," said Thorsteinson. "With the combination of great people, great products and a great brand Leitch is in a position to significantly improve its financial performance. After living in California and Hong Kong, my family and I are looking forward to living in Canada where my family has deep roots."

He replaces interim president and CEO Stan Kabala.

Leitch has faced a number of questions from the investment community over its performance recently and has undertaken rounds of cost-cutting. As well, last month it was forced to delay its annual general meeting due to Click moves by dissident shareholders.

The company will release its fiscal 2004 second quarter financials on Wednesday, November 26th.

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