Atari appoints new CFO, digital and mobile VPs

After what we can only imagine was the most intense game of musical chairs the Atari conference room has ever seen, the company has announced it's appointed new executives at key positions. Robert Mattes is now the CFO, Owais Farooqui has taken over as senior VP of digital publishing and Maria Pacheco is now the new VP of mobile.

This appointment of new blood follows the company's focus on digital for the last year or so -- these appointments will help Atari to "shift its core focus to casual gaming experiences designed for mobile, social networks and emerging platforms," the press release reads. Atari will apparently use the expertise of its new VPs to aggressively target Atari.com, Facebook, Google+ (it has games now!), browser-based gaming and tablets and smartphone devices, leveraging classic Atari franchises such as Asteroid, Missile Command, Centipede, Breakout and Pong. First up is Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of Neverwinter, expected to launch on Facebook this fall.
Show full PR text
ATARI BOLSTERS MANAGEMENT TEAM FOR CONTINUED EXPANSION INTO MOBILE AND SOCIAL ONLINE GAMING



Los Angeles, CA - August 17, 2011 - Atari, a leading multi-platform, global interactive entertainment and licensing company, has strengthened its senior management team with the appointments of Robert Mattes as Chief Financial Officer, Owais Farooqui as Senior Vice President, Digital Publishing, and Maria Pacheco as Vice President, Mobile.



The bolstering of its senior management team comes as Atari continues to shift its core focus to casual gaming experiences designed for mobile, social networks and emerging platforms. The Company's titles have enjoyed #1 status across three different platforms in the last 90 days. Atari's Greatest Hits rose to #1 in the iTunes store and generated more than 3 million downloads in its first three months. Dungeons and Dragons: Daggerdale hit #1 on the XBox Live Arcade network, and The Witcher 2 achieved #1 status on the Steam gaming platform.



In their new positions, Mr. Farooqui and Ms. Pacheco will be charged with developing and executing a cohesive mobile, social and online strategy for the company designed to best leverage Atari's legendary gaming franchises for a new generation of gamers across online (i.e. Atari.com, browser, Facebook®, Google+), smartphones and tablets. They will have at their disposal one of the gaming industry's most iconic portfolios that includes: Asteroids, Missile Command, Centipede, Pong and Breakout. Additionally, this Fall Atari will be launching its richest Facebook experience to date with Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of Neverwinter.



Meanwhile, Mr. Mattes brings in depth experience from various online and micro-transaction business models will be responsible for Atari's finance, accounting, IT and various administrative functions. Mr. Mattes and Mr. Farooqui will report directly to Jim Wilson, CEO of Atari, S.A. Ms. Pacheco will report to Mr. Farooqui.



"Owais and Maria are innovative managers whose vast online and mobile success aligns with Atari's goal of creating the best experience for players across all social and casual gaming platforms," said Jim Wilson, CEO of Atari. "As we continue to evolve our business, Owais and Maria will be instrumental in helping us build the digital vision and strategy for the overall Atari brand." Mr. Wilson added, "Robert is accomplished financial executive who brings a significant background to address our continued expansion into emerging platforms. His financial transaction experience will also be important as Atari continues to grow."



Following these new nominations, Atari's executive committee is now composed as follows:
- Jim Wilson, CEO

- Robert Mattes, CFO
- Kristen Keller, General Counsel
- Lee Jacobson, Senior Vice President, Business Development and Licensing
- Owais Farooqui, Senior Vice President, Digital Publishing



Mr. Mattes brings to Atari more than 20 years of senior level financial management experience. He has held positions as Co-President and CFO of Authentic Response, Inc., a leading provider of online data to the market research industry, and CFO of Return Path Inc., the global leader in email deliverability services. He started his career at KPMG where he rose to the level of manager in their New York City office and was then Assistant Corporate Controller at W.R. Berkley Corp., a financial services company focused on the property and casualty insurance business. A Certified Public Accountant, Mr. Mattes received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Villanova University.



Mr. Farooqui has more than 10 years of strategic planning experience, with expertise in business development and integrated marketing. Mr. Farooqui joins Atari from King.com, the world's largest tournament games company, where he served as the GM of North America. In this capacity he managed the company's initiatives surrounding social games' marketing, strategy and partnerships -- delivering successful social, competitive and pastime gaming experiences to millions of people across the globe in the region. He was also responsible for King.com's groundbreaking partnerships with NBC, CBS, Yahoo!, Real Networks, and Lifetime Networks, enabling the major media networks to extend interactivity and entertainment to consumers. Prior to King.com, Mr. Farooqui held positions at Knowledge Adventure and Academy123, which was acquired by Discovery Communications. He received his Bachelors of Applied Sciences in Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto.



Ms. Pacheco brings to Atari vast experience in marketing mobile games and applications. She most recently served as vice president of marketing for Vivendi Games Mobile, a division of Vivendi Games, where she helped build the division into a leading US publisher of mobile games. In that capacity, Ms. Pacheco oversaw product marketing initiatives for the Americas including channel marketing, consumer insights, social media and promotions. Prior to joining Vivendi Games Mobile, Pacheco held positions at JAMDAT, which was acquired by Electronic Arts in 2006, and Sprint where she was instrumental in launching Sprint's 'Game Lobby', the industry's first carrier-based mobile games community. She holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from Baker University and a Bachelor's degree in Marketing from Pittsburg State University.



For more information about other available positions at Atari, please go to www.atari.com/careers.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.