New CEO, NASDAQ woes for Atari

Ex-movie mogul David Pierce takes reins from Bonnell as the French publisher seeks stock-market delisting appeal.

In November 2004, Bruno Bonnell stepped down as CEO of French publisher Atari. The current Chairman and Chief Creative Officer was replaced by board member James Caparro, a former executive at record labels Warner Music Group, Universal Music, and PolyGram. Just over six months later, though, Caparro's swan song played. He abruptly resigned, forcing Bonnell to retake the reins of the once-mighty game giant as interim CEO.

Over a year later, Bonnell has finally found a (hopefully) permanent replacement. Today, Atari named David Pierce as its new CEO and president. Like Caparro, Pierce is a veteran of the entertainment industry, although his provenance is from movie studios as well as music. Before his new gig, he held executive positions at Universal Pictures, MGM, and Sony Pictures. In a press release, Atari also played up how Pierce "spearheaded the complete restructuring and turnaround of Sony Wonder, a division of Sony BMG Music Entertainment."

Not so coincidentally, Atari is itself in the middle of a turnaround, having just completed a sell-off of several internal studios and game properties. June saw it sell the once-storied Driver franchise and its developer, Reflections Interactive, to fellow francophones Ubisoft. Another Paris-based firm, Vivendi Games, took the Xbox 360 shooter TimeShift off Atari's hands in May, and US-based THQ bought the Stuntman license as well as Paradigm Entertainment, the game's maker.

News of Pierce's appointment put a little bit of wind into the sails of Atari's stock. As of press time, its share price had risen $0.02 from its Friday close to $0.71, or 2.9 percent, on the NASDAQ.

Though comparatively significant, the boost does not put Atari over the $1-per-share threshold required to be listed on the US's second-biggest market. As the Labor Day Weekend kicked off late Friday, Atari quietly announced it had been served with a noncompliance notice from NASDAQ and is now subject to delisting. It is appealing the decision and expects a hearing to be held "in approximately 25 to 45 days," during which time it will continue to trade on NASDAQ.

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Discussion

25 comments
messin18
messin18

papimillenium, Lol buddy you're are f'ed. Don't try to convince anyone else to be dumb enough to buy this stock. It doesn't matter if they "dont think" they'll be de-listed. Nasqad is telling them they will be unless they meet the threshold required of a price of $1.00 a share. Today the stock was at 68 cents. I don't see it jumping up to $1.00 anytime soon. Get wise Atari is selling off all of it's money makeing franchises to have enough cash to pay off the CEO's and is getting ready to go under. Their profit margin is NEGATIVE 21% Their net income is NEGATIVE 43.42 million Their Operating cash flow is NEGATIVE 24.8 million Buy this stock? LOL NOT A CHANCE.

messin18
messin18

Well lets hope Test Drive Off Road get some good sales and can give Atari some life support.

_Sam_
_Sam_

:shock: interesting

anamnawshad
anamnawshad

I thought Atari was an American company!! I was wrong all these years :P

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

Atari can't go under. It's like one of those immutable laws of the universe and co-signed by God or something like that.

VegetaMaelstrom
VegetaMaelstrom

Listen up Santa Claus. I don't want Atari to go under but if they do then try to make them wait a year or two because I have been waiting patiently for Neverwinter Nights 2 for a while now and I would like to see some patches released to fix the inevitable bugs that the game will ship with. An expansion pack or two won't go unappreciated either. I've been good this year and this is all that I want for christmas.

Riverwolf007
Riverwolf007

They are prolly selling test drive too cheap at $40 bux but i'll know tommorrow when it comes out if i'm getting a bargain or if im a sucker.(crosses fingers) As for stuntman that game was great, i know it was hard and most people coulden't finish it but if you did you know how much fun it was. It's like five bux used at the eb in my area so try it out, unless you are a controller thrower, in that case stay far away from it.

classic_rocker
classic_rocker

1: who in their right mind wants SUNTMAN? 2:driver used 2 b awesome, i hav driver for gameboy color and driver2 for ps1(i never even beat driver2!) 3:driver 3 suked 4:i havent played driver parallel lines but it looks good... 5:i hav stuntman sadly, and i can say it really suked

runstalker
runstalker

Aw dude, I hope Atari recovers. I used to love their old classic 2600 games and - KIDDING! This isn't Atari. It's just a facade for a long-struggling French outfit. I give Infogrames/Atari a pass because they occassionally make very bright, risky, brave choices - like Indigo Prophecy - but then they shatter my admiration with more turds. Inconsistency shall be your assassin, nu-Atari.

thebrazenone
thebrazenone

I would never buy a game with the Atari name on it. Sorry.

papimillenium
papimillenium

I think atari will have enough capital to report for this quarter ending what September after selling off significant assets to other companies, but I dont think they will be delisted. My advice to anyone able to purchase stocks is to buy Atari's low priced stocks, just a year ago it was valued a over 3 dollars, now its .71 cents, thats cheap. I dont think they hired a new CEO if they new they were going to be delisted, and or dont see a brighter future. I currently own nearly 600 shares of Ataris stock, and I bet that after they release their earnings for this past quarter they will be bouncing back. Their stock is listed as a solid hold so Analysts arent saying to sell it. That means something.

goodemon
goodemon

Well mattxavier I think that is what they have been doing for months. Driver was sold, Timeshift. The only awesome things I saw at e3 this year that really stand out, will most definately be the new Earthworm Jim for PSP, and Neverwinter2, plus maybe some dragon ball, but i really dont play dragonball games, but Budokai is a halfway decent fighting game from what Ive heard, i prefer Tekken. Perhaps selling the licenses, will save the company, but like most publishers these days, its about making sequels because you dont have the balls to make fresh IP. Atari is an example of a company who follows the sequel formula and keeps taking losses.

mattxavier
mattxavier

I think the best thing for Atari is to sell some of the rights to the games that aren't doing to well to other developers and maybe concentrate on developing new versions of their classics.

TintedChimes
TintedChimes

Man, Atari, where is the old company I use to love and admire?

goodemon
goodemon

Yes ZeTecThreaT, Atrai was formerly known as the french developer, infogrames. They made a ton of games back in the ps1 era, but right after Dreamcast came out, they bought the Atari name from Hasbro i believe.

Donkeljohn
Donkeljohn

The Atari name was purchased by the publisher formerly known as Infogrames. Since Atari has better brand recognition, the Infogrames name was dropped. Unless Atari can get its act together, it looks like they will get dropped from the NAS. That delisting would represent a severe trimming of their capital. Although I doubt Test Drive will deliver, perhaps Neverwinter Nights 2 will help their publishing revenues.

sieg6529
sieg6529

Atari is all but dead, but I hope they can rebound. I'm still recovering from a Sonic game on a Nintendo system...

surferboy2177
surferboy2177

Hopefully Atari can get their act together, they definitely could use some more IP's especially since they're selling so many of them.

blackIceJoe
blackIceJoe

The only way I see Atari getting out of there trouble is getting a new game out that is not a sequel and is a whole new game. If they can not do that Atari's day are all but gone. The name is all that is left of the old company so many people grew up with. It is not the same one the real one died out years ago so that means that if Atari can't bring in some new games soon or update old classics there will be nothing left. I hope to see them get back to making some good games soon.