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Phil Harrison Steps Down As Atari President

Announced alongside loss-increasing financials, former Sony Worldwide Studios head Phil Harrison will step down as Atari president, becoming a non-executive director of the company.
The Infogrames management team today made a significant change, as the company said that Atari president Phil Harrison, previously of Sony Computer Entertainment, would be stepping down from his position, as business operations shift to the U.S. Harrison will still be part of the company's board of directors in a non-executive capacity, assisting with the game maker's strategy. The announcement of the management change comes as Atari parent Infogrames announced Friday a net loss of €226.1 million ($319.33 million) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009, an increase from net losses of €51.1 million ($72.17 million) a year ago, as the company underwent significant structural changes. Infogrames announced just over a year ago that Harrison, former had of SCE World Wide Studios, would be heading up efforts at the ailing Atari subsidiary, as the company presses towards moving its business from retail to online. In addition, Jeff Lapin has been added as COO of Atari. Lapin, based in the U.S., is already a member of Infogrames' board, and had previously served as CEO of both THQ and Take-Two. As president of Atari, Harrison was to play an integral role in the future of the company and the brand. The exec has been a long proponent of digital distribution and online business models, even while with the disc-reliant PlayStation business. While he'll still be on Atari's board he'll be taking more of a general role with the game maker, his role will be more general: "As all Board members, he will continue to assist, support and guide the Company's strategy," Atari said in its earnings release. When Harrison announced he'd be joining Atari last March, he said, "As the game business moves rapidly online I believe we have an outstanding opportunity to create amazing network game and community experiences for players the world over."

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