Changes in Corporate Governance

Oct 27, 2010, 12:37 ET from Atari, S.A.

PARIS, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Atari, S.A. announces that the Board of Directors meeting held on October 25, 2010 proposed the appointment of Jim Wilson as a Director of the Board as Pascal Cagnihas resigned from the Board. In addition, Jim Wilson, previously CEO of Atari Inc., is taking the position of Deputy CEO of Atari S.A. and Hindol Datta, Vice President of Finance and Administration of Atari has been appointed interim Chief Financial Officer. He takes over the functions of Phil Veneziano who is leaving the Group to pursue another career path.

Jim Wilson joined Atari in 2007 as Chief Executive Officer of Atari Inc. He is a member of the executive committee of the Group and has taken an active part in the transformation of Atari. After leading the turnaround of Atari's US business he focused on the rationalization of the activities in Europe and the re-launch of a worldwide publishing plan around Atari's proven franchises. In his new role, Jim Wilson continues to focus on the development and execution of the strategic objectives and profitability goals, including the launch of numerous branded entertainment properties across multiple distribution channels.

"Since joining Atari, the company has undergone a significant transformation with continued improvement in results and greater opportunity for expansion," said Jim Wilson. "Our world renowned brand and catalog of proven franchises have positioned the Company well as we diversify our business into online, digital and mobile platforms, in addition to other media and merchandising categories."

Mr. Wilson has more than 15 years of executive management experience with video game and entertainment companies, including Vivendi Universal Games, Universal Interactive Studios, and Sony Wonder/Sony BMG.

Atari also announces that Phil Veneziano, Chief Financial Officer, has decided to leave the company to pursue a different career path. His position is taken over by Hindol Datta who currently serves as Vice President of Finance and Administration for Atari and Cryptic Studios Chief Financial Officer and has been working closely with Mr. Veneziano.

Prior to joining Atari, Mr. Datta held senior management roles in finance and business intelligence in some of the largest internet online and media distribution companies. Mr. Datta was among the earliest employees and a key contributor to Adteractive's successful run as one of the fastest growing companies in the online advertising marketplace in the US, where he was on the team that oversaw revenue growth of $15M to $150M during the company's growth. Prior to internet marketing, Mr. Datta held strategic planning and operations roles in mobile telecommunications as well as a medical device company which was later acquired by the Great Nordic Group. He started his career working as an auditor and systems analyst in projects for Coopers & Lybrand and Andersen Consulting respectively.  He is an active CPA in the State of California, a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), APICS certified and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

Jeff Lapin, CEO of Atari, commented, "We are all very pleased to welcome Jim Wilson as Deputy Chief Executive Officer.  I have great respect for Jim's abilities, and we have worked very well together at Atari.  I want to thank Phil Veneziano for his good work at Atari and wish him well in his next venture while I also have great confidence in Hindol Datta's abilities to maintain the goals we have set.  Finally, I wish to thank Pascal Cagni for his hard work and leadership as a member of the Atari Board."

Atari's Board would be comprised of:

  • Mr. Frank E. Dangeard, Non-Executive Chairman
  • Mr. Dominique D'Hinnin, Vice-Chairman, Independent Director
  • Mr. Jeff Lapin, CEO
  • Mr. Jim Wilson, Deputy CEO(subjected to shareholder's approval)
  • Mr. Didier Lamouche, Independent Director
  • Mr. Tom Virden, Independent Director
  • The BlueBay Value Recovery (Master) Fund Limited, represented by Mr. Gene Davis
  • The BlueBay High Yield Investment (Luxembourg) SARL, represented by Mr. Nolan Bushnell

The appointment of Mr. Wilson as Deputy CEO will be effective upon the completion of paperwork related to his status of non-resident of France. The Board approved the annual fix compensation of euro 35,000 for Mr. Wilson for his mandate as Deputy Chief Operating Officer.

The Board of Directors acknowledged Mr. Wilson's existing contract with Atari Inc. which will remain in effect.

About Atari, S.A.

Atari group is a global creator, producer and publisher of interactive entertainment. Atari's brands and content are available across all key traditional and digital distribution touch points, including browser-based and social online platforms, PC, consoles from Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, and advanced smart phones (i.e. iPhone, Android and RIM devices). Divisions of Atari, S.A. include Cryptic Studios, Eden Studios, Atari Interactive, Inc. and Atari, Inc.

Atari benefits from the strength of its worldwide brand and its extensive catalogue of contemporary classic game franchises (Asteroids®, Centipede®, Missile Command®, Lunar Lander®), original owned franchises (Test Drive®, Backyard Sports®, Deer Hunter®), MMO games from Cryptic Studios (Star Trek™ Online, Champions™) and third party franchises (Ghostbusters®, Rollercoaster Tycoon®, Dungeons and Dragons®). Atari also leverages the power of its franchises to deliver movies and merchandise to consumers around the world.

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SOURCE Atari, S.A.