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Film and music executive becomes Atari CEO

Tags: Atari (EPA:ATA)

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Press release

Atari, Inc., one of the world's most recognized brands and leading third-party video game publisher, announced today the appointment of David Pierce as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective immediately. Mr. Pierce is assuming the responsibilities of CEO previously held by Bruno Bonnell.

In this role, Mr. Pierce assumes responsibility for the operational management of Atari and will partner with Mr. Bonnell to achieve strategic objectives of the Company. Mr. Bonnell will continue to serve as the Company's Chairman and Chief Creative Officer (CCO), steering the creative vision for Atari.

Mr. Pierce has a proven record in establishing and growing companies. With more than 20 years of executive management experience with major entertainment companies such as Universal Pictures, MGM, Sony Pictures and Sony Music Entertainment, he brings an effective management style focused on the successful execution of strategic objectives and improving profitability. Mr. Pierce has successfully launched and established significant market share for numerous media devices. Additionally, his career covers the development and launch of branded entertainment properties, franchise development and delivery across multiple distribution channels.

"Atari has been a cornerstone of a global cultural movement that forever changed how we experience entertainment. It's an honor for me to have the opportunity to contribute to Atari's exciting future,"stated Mr. Pierce. "There's a heritage of expectation that demands a high level of responsibility to our consumers and the interactive entertainment industry. I look forward to collaborating with the gifted and passionate individuals at Atari to build on that heritage and raise the bar on what consumers can expect."

Mr. Bonnell commented, "David has spent his career in the entertainment business and has a clear understanding and appreciation for our consumers. His leadership skills, first-hand operational execution and keen focus on profitability and investment value make him the ideal person to lead Atari."

"With David as my senior partner, we will strengthen the capabilities of Atari. Our skill sets are complimentary and we share a passion for providing consumers with compelling and unique entertainment experiences. David's track record is stellar and we are privileged to have an executive of his caliber and reputation leading Atari."

As Executive Vice President and General Manager, Mr. Pierce spearheaded the complete restructuring and turnaround of Sony Wonder, a division of SONY BMG Music Entertainment. Under his leadership, the company achieved record revenue and multiple years of record profits. Prior to Sony Wonder, Mr. Pierce was the Senior Vice President of Columbia Tristar Home Video, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, from 1989 through 1994. Mr. Pierce was recruited to help devise and execute a complete reorganization of the company. Specific areas of focus included the reorganization of personnel, establishing sound financial controls, development of distribution strategies and establishing sales and marketing initiatives. Over a five year period, Mr. Pierce increased revenues, achieved record net contribution results and developed strategic distribution relationships with several leading entertainment companies including Sony Electronic Publishing, Epic Home Video and New Line Pictures. In 1984, Mr. Pierce was recruited by New World Pictures to launch the company's video division, New World Home Entertainment. Through unique advertising campaigns and creative sales promotion, he established New World as the industry leader amongst independent production companies.

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So what was wrong with the old CEO? Interesting to note that this matched the release of Test Drive Unlimited to XBox in the US.