Confirming the sad news of the Vizrt CEO's passing, Martin Burkhalter - now serving as acting CEO - issued the following statement to TVBEurope...
"It is with enormous sadness and regret that I must pass on to you the distressing news of the sudden death of my friend, the CEO of Vizrt, Bjarne Berg.
Bjarne was taken from us suddenly at the far-too-early age of 59. He had struggled with diabetes all his life and the illness had recently given him more than usual discomfort. Bjarne passed away peacefully in his bed at his home in Bergen, Norway.
Vizrt and its staff, as well as our investors and customers, owe a great debt to Bjarne Berg and he deserves to have his many achievements recognised by everyone who has had dealings with Vizrt.
I knew Bjarne personally for 25 years and many times during that period I experienced at first hand the level of passion and commitment that he felt for Vizrt. Bjarne took the company from when it sounded like just a good idea in the news room of TV2 Norway to become the global success story Vizrt is today, with a permanent staff of 500 people.
Bjarne also had the good sense to recognise that he could not achieve everything on his own. Continuing his reputation as an excellent manager at TV2, he hand-picked a very smart team who went on to achieve great things for Vizrt. Many members of that original team are senior managers with the company today, a further testament to the loyalty Bjarne engendered. They, in turn, hired the next generation of even smarter people to take Vizrt to the next level and so Vizrt evolved.
In my opinion, Bjarne’s greatest achievement will always be hiring the remarkable staff that now work and run our company. This is his legacy - a living example of the inspiration and effort he brought to Vizrt.
For us who remain, sadly this will be a future without Bjarne but one in which his legacy – all of us – can feel confident that he guided us well and that he left us with his ideas and his personal philosophy, which we will continue to follow.
Earlier this week, the Vizrt Board appointed me as acting CEO until further notice. These are the saddest circumstances of my taking on such a senior job but I know the Vizrt management team well and I promise you I will do the job to the best of my abilities. Like Bjarne, I am committed to this company, to our employees and also to our customers and investors. I am not Bjarne and I do have my own style of management, but I will continue to implement our strategy and nurture the company’s soul and spirit. Looking to the future, together with the top team that Bjarne appointed, I can see we are well on our way to realising his far-sighted ambitions
To achieve them would be the best way I know of honouring the memory of Bjarne Berg, whom we will never forget."
Vizrt Acting CEO