In Atari's march towards an online-oriented business model, the company issued a press release yesterday announcing the acquisition of John Burns, former senior director of European online publishing at EA. Burns wil be in charge of European operations for Atari, reporting directly to president and CEO Jim Wilson. "John joins Atari at time when we are transitioning our business toward online while maintaining a focused retail business," Wilson says of the new hire, referencing both of the company's Cryptic-developed MMOs and the handful of upcoming console titles on the release calendar.

Meanwhile, Burns has some unsurprisingly kind words for his new corporate overlords. "Atari has the key ingredients of a focused strategy, compelling intellectual property and consumer brand recognition to meet its global growth objectives." And between both of the aforementioned MMOs -- not to mention Atari's publishing deal with Turbine -- Burns has a full plate of properties to push in the EU. And of course there's always the issue of returning to financial solvency sometime this year -- something the company promised in its last revenue statement. Good luck with all that, John!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.