Bruno Bonnell leaves Infogrames, Atari

Top executive leaves game publisher and well-known subsidiary after debt restructuring program finishes.

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Bruno Bonnell has left all his positions at Infogrames, it was announced today, and has been replaced as the publisher's chairman and CEO by director Patrick Leleu.

Bonnell was one of the founders of Infogrames Entertainment in June 1983 and has been chairman and chief creative officer of the company since its foundation. He also served Infogrames subsidiary Atari as chairman of the board, chief creative officer, acting chief financial officer, and director.

Bonnell was previously the CEO of Atari as well, stepping down in 2004, and then taking back the reins on an interim basis months later when his replacement abruptly quit. Last September, Bonnell relinquished the position once more when he named David Pierce Atari's latest president and CEO.

Patrick Leleu will now be taking over the role of Infogrames chairman and CEO. Leleu has been a director of Infogrames since January, has held positions of CEO of Bouygues Telecom between 1994 and 2001, and was also previously chairman of Noos, a cable network operator, between 2001 and 2005.

Over the past few years, Infogrames has been implementing a global debt restructuring plan, which included undergoing a one-for-10 reverse stock split in January to stay listed on the Nasdaq.

Bonnell commented, "It is with understandable emotions, but also reassured about its future, that I leave Infogrames after 24 years spent to build this group with the support of all its teams. Together, we have been able to show its strength and capacity to innovate, even in the worst situations. Time for business developers has logically come, after the entrepreneurial period. It's now time for Infogrames to conquer and progress on a market as promising as interactive entertainment business."

As of press time, Atari stock was trading for $4, up more than 12 percent from its $3.57 close yesterday.

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