As Atari aims to return to profitability, it's replaced CEO David Gardner with company board director and former COO Jeff Lapin, who'll take on chief executive duties while Gardener maintains a director role.
"For the last two years, first as a Director of the Board and then as COO, I have contributed to the transformation of Atari," says Lapin, who has previously held exec roles at RazorGator Interactive Group, Take-Two Interactive Software and THQ. "It has been a challenging time, which resulted in a new publishing strategy with a strong online focus and a shift of the operations to the U.S."
Atari is currently at something of a crossroads. The publisher's most recent fiscal year
saw over $319 million in losses, and the company has given itself the challenge of returning to profitability in the second half of its fiscal year.
Part of the company's strategy in transitioning online is launching new MMOs; it acquired Cryptic Studios and its Champions Online
at the end of 2008, and will launch its second MMO, Star Trek Online
, in February 2010, Lapin says.
As CEO, Lapin will earn an annual salary of €400,000 ($583,960), and on meeting certain performance criteria such as the release of games on time and within budget, and meeting the company's financial goals, he can earn up to an additional €200,000 ($291,980). He also has stock options.