10/08/2002 11:00PM

Top two Gemstar execs resign


The two top officers of embattled Gemstar-TV Guide Corp., the owner of Television Games Network, resigned Wednesday under pressure from one of the company's largest shareholders, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Henry Yuen, Gemstar's chief executive, will receive $22 million as part of his severance package and be replaced by Jeff Shell, Gemstar's current chief operating officer. Elsie Leung, the company's chief financial officer, will receive $7 million and be replaced by Paul Haggerty, a News Corp. finance executive.

TVG officials say the resignations will have little negative impact on TVG, a Gemstar subsidiary that has lost $100 million since its 1998 launch.

"I think you'll see from this point forward an even closer relationship with the parent company, simply because we'll be exploring more synergies with the Fox Sports and News Corp. side of the company," said Mark Wilson, TVG's chief executive officer.

Once one of Wall Street's high-flying stocks, Gemstar's fortunes fell precipitously in the past 18 months as the company lost a string of patent lawsuits and reversed millions of dollars in ad sales because of accounting irregularities. The company's shares have lost more than 90 percent of their value in the past 12 months.

Gemstar's stock soared 66 cents on Wednesday to $3.23, a 25.5 percent increase.