New Atari GM for Europe

Ex-EA online boss John Burns appointed as Atari continues online transition

Atari has appointed Jon Burns, former senior director of European online publishing for EA, as the company's new European vice president and general manager.

While at EA, Burns was part of the team responsible for launching the company's mobile division and subsequently moved to oversee the publisher's digital distribution, massively multiplayer online gaming and web and in-game advertising strategies across Europe.

Previously Burns was also a founding partner and president at Digital Bros Entertainment and EON Digital Entertainment, as well as European managing director of Activision. He has also held various roles at Acclaim, Bandai UK, Sega Ozisoft and Atari Computers in Australia.

Atari sold its extensive European distribution network to Namco Bandai in 2009 and has since had a much reduced retail presence in the region.

Despite intending to transition to a primarily online business model, the publisher still has plans to release major new boxed product such as the forthcoming Test Drive Unlimited 2.

"John joins Atari at a time when we are transitioning our business toward online while maintaining a focused retail business," said Jim Wilson, president and CEO of Atari, Inc. "His multi-disciplined background, working with some of the industry's most respected publishers as well as emerging online businesses at the forefront of technology, will serve Atari well as we forge forward with our growth strategy."

"Atari has the key ingredients of a focused strategy, compelling intellectual property and consumer brand recognition to meet its global growth objectives," said Burns. "The European business needs to deliver strongly in order to contribute to that strategy and I will be looking to leverage my experience in building both packaged goods and online games businesses in order to help it do so."

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