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Lapin takes Gardner's CEO role at Atari

New CEO promises to return publisher of Star Trek Online to profitability; Gardner joins Harrison on board of directors

Atari has announced that Jeff Lapin is to become the new CEO at the publisher, replacing David Gardner as head of global operations.

Gardner was the first of a number of high-profile appointments which began in 2008, as the struggling company, then still carrying the Infogrames name, sought to reboot as an online and digital publisher.

Such plans have been slow to take off, even with former Sony worldwide studios boss Phil Harrison joining the company – he was sidelined from president in just over a year, although like Gardner he remains on the board of directors.

Lapin has been a director with Atari since 2007, and chief operating officer since May this year, having previously held positions at Take-Two.

"For the last two years, first as a director of the board and then as COO, I have contributed to the transformation of Atari," offered Lapin.

"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 US. We will launch our second MMO game – Star Trek Online - in February 2010. I am excited to take on these new responsibilities at this important time and look forward to developing Atari’s strategy to bring the company back to profitability."

The other big signing from Gardner's tenure was Paulina Bozek, former head of the SingStar business at Sony, who joined the company to lead a push into social and online gaming at a new studio in Hammersmith. So far, the only output from that new team has been Facebook application Photo Sauce.

Lapin will earn EUR 400,000 per year, with bonuses of EUR 200,000 for reaching certain performance criteria.

In Europe, the Atari business is ran by Namco Bandai Partners.

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Matt Martin avatar

Matt Martin


Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.