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Atari Officially Announces 20% Staff Reduction

Troubled U.S. publisher and developer Atari has now officially announced "the implementation of its corporate action plan", following a
February 17, 2006
Troubled U.S. publisher and developer Atari has now officially announced "the implementation of its corporate action plan", following a widely reported interview in which Infogrames and Atari CEO Bruno Bonnell made it clear that he was looking to cut staff and sell development studios in the U.S., following disappointing financial results and continuing debt issues. The official statement announced a restructuring "which will result in a worldwide workforce reduction of approximately 20%" at Atari, reducing the company's U.S staff significantly. It isn't yet clear exactly how many employees this entails and in what divisions, and the company chose not to specify affected locations. However, Bonnell did mention in today's interview with UK trade paper MCV that: "We have about 250 staff in the US. And that is too many. There has to be some adjustment", leading to the conclusion that at least 50 staff will be laid off, and the company's total headcount worldwide was cited as being around 400 in a recent conference call. Some of the major Atari offices in North America currently include the New York corporate headquarters for the company, the Texas-based Paradigm development studio, and the California-based Shiny Entertainment. Bonnell's official statement related to the layoffs was relatively straightforward, as he commented: "Today's decisive action will provide us with the flexibility necessary in a changing business environment. Adjusting our cost structure is a significant first step and demonstrates our commitment to restoring shareholder value." However, Atari shares were still languishing at around 89c in aftermarket trading on Friday.

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