Microsoft fires Fast Search CEO on suspicion of fraud

Mon 26 January 2009 09:16, Bas van den Beld

Microsoft fires Fast Search CEO on suspicion of fraud

A lot of things are happening in Norway these days. Last week used Google to promote pirate websites, the week before it was Google itself who decided to leave Norway.

When Google decided to leave Trondheim that meant there might be opportunities for Microsoft to fill the gap and get the right people working for them. But first they have to get rid of their own so it appears. Pandia announced Microsoft were firing John Lervik, CEO of Fast Search & Transfer “due to shady accounting practices.”

Fast Search  & transfer was bought by Microsoft in 2008 for almost a billion Euros. The search technology of the Norwegians is used by over 2600 companies.

Fast Search was being investigated by the police since 2008. That was even before Microsoft bought the company. In October the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime first looked into the books of Fast Search. Now Microsoft itself is looking trough the books on suspicion of fraud.

CEO John Lervik was asked to leave the company considering the police investigation and the possible bad publicity. He is being replaced by Fast technology boss Bjørn Olstad. Lervik himself claims in a Norwegian newspaper he left “out of concern for his family” because of his extensive traveling.

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