Officials from French firm Infogrames, parent company of U.S. publisher Atari, have announced the appointment of Mathias Hautefort as the new chief operating officer (COO) and executive vice president in charge of worldwide publishing and production.
Hautefort will be responsible for developing Infogrames' intellectual properties as well as managing product development, including remaining internal teams such as Eden Games (Test Drive Unlimited
) and external studios. His role as COO will also put him in charge of operational and global coordination of the company.
Prior to his new role at Infogrames, Hautefort was CEO of Viaccess, a France Telecom Content Division company. He has also previously served as COO of French cable operator Noos, director of media activities for the Suez Group and technical advisor to the French government from 1997 to 2000.
On his nomination, Hautefort said, "I am thrilled to join the Infogrames team at this momentum of its history. This company, which has defined the exciting video games industry for the last 20 years, is facing new challenges. My goal, along with Patrick Leleu, is to create a worldwide publishing hub for video game production and development that will benefit from both internal know-how and necessary partnerships while being on the lookout for opportunities created by current changes in the market."
Hautefort joins the company at a critical period in its history, with recent full year financial results
showing a fall in sales of 16.7 percent on the previous year. With many of the company's most recognizable brands and internal studios now sold off, as well as significant layoffs at Atari, a recent Gamasutra interview
saw Atari vice president Robert Stevenson suggest that the company was trying to transition to a more flexible model "with much lower overhead".