Patrick Leleu, chairman and CEO of Atari brand-owner Infogrames, has resigned from his post effective immediately – and former EA man David Gardner has been named as his replacement.
An Electronic Arts exec for over 25 years, most recently EVP and COO of EA Worldwide Studios, Gardner recently left the firm to pursue new interests and was last year granted an OBE.
As the new boss of Infogrames, he is charged with rejuvenating the Atari brand name by "building an online platform for distribution and gaming, assembling a world-class management team and restoring Group profitability through selective cost-cutting measures".
In making the appointment, the Board stated: "We are delighted to welcome M. Gardner as the new CEO of Infogrames. David is one of the most recognised professionals in the interactive entertainment software sector. He is a leading figure in this market, who brings a unique vision and experience to the Group. His appointment as the head of Infogrames marks a transformation milestone in the Group’s history."
Garner commented: "I had a dream to work for Atari when I played Star Raiders in 1979. When you form such a powerful emotional relationship with a brand it can stay with you for your entire life. My goal is to help rebuild that passion around the company. First, with the employees and then very quickly to spread it virally on the Internet to millions of new customers. Remember that Infogrames was one of Europe’s first gaming companies.
He added: "I have a personal challenge to create a world-class company that is European in flavour but reaches global markets. This will take some time of course, but here we have fantastic gaming DNA formed at the birth of the industry, access to creative talent and a company with the working capital to make the necessary investments to realize this vision. Over the coming months we want to work hard at showing the potential for what this renewed team can do and how it will excite gamers once again. Atari’s history is that of a world-class brand and I want to work with our team to create a world class company."