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Atari CEO resigns

Shares tumble.

Shares in publisher Atari took a tumble yesterday after president and CEO James Caparro resigned from the company after less than seven months in the job, surprising both investors and the Atari board itself.

Former music industry exec Caparro was parachuted into top job at the company last November, replacing then CEO Bruno Bonnell - who now returns as interim CEO until a permanent replacement can be found.

The sudden nature of his departure didn't go down well with the stock market - with $0.64, nearly 22 per cent, being wiped off Atari's share price by the opening of the markets following the announcement.

It also apparently came as a surprise to Atari's own board, and Bonnell has reportedly informed market analysts that he was only informed of Caparro's decision last Friday.

Caparro leaves Atari to return to a business he founded in 2003, Entertainment Distribution Corp, which was recently bolstered by the acquisition of manufacturing and distribution operations in North America and central Europe from Universal Music Group (where Caparro previously worked) and offered him a major salary and bonuses package to return.

During his short tenure at Atari, Caparro made a number of changes to the top management of the publisher, and also presided over the shutting of offices in Santa Monica, California and Beverly, Massachusetts.

Atari is expected to announce its fourth quarter results next week, which are officially projected to fall between a loss of eight cents per share and break even in terms of EPS, on sales of $70 to $80 million.

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