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[Thanks to Fabian Jimenez for sending this in. Apologies to Reuters, but I
think this is really important. Another great computer pioneer reduced to
a sorry state...-Jason]
Atari President Leaves After Layoffs
By Katharine Stalter, Reuters
HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - Atari Corp. president of North American operations
Ted Hoff left his post Wednesday, following layoffs of 20 employees and
amid reports that the company is liquidating its videogame assets.
Those assets include Jaguar, Jaguar CD, and Atari Interactive, a CD-ROM
unit formed two weeks ago.
According to a report that first appeared in Bethesda, Md.-based Multimedia
Wire, Jack Tramiel, who purchased Atari from Warner Communications in 1985,
plans to use $50 million in cash currently tied up in Atari to make an
investment in a computer hardware firm.
Sources close to the company said lack of interest in the business on the
part of Tramiel and his family -- not lackluster sales -- is behind the
Hoff told Daily Variety he resigned because of the direction the company
was taking with the layoffs: ``It was an indication that Atari's long-term
intentions were not to continue in pursuit of videogame developing or
publishing, neither for Jaguar nor Atari Interactive.''
Hoff said the layoffs include staffers from the engineering, testing,
production, customer service, marketing, merchandising and advertising
Those left, he said, don't constitute ``the ranks you would need to
continue in the videogame industry.''
Before joining Atari in June, Hoff had been VP and general manager of Fox
Interactive. Before that, he was senior VP at Time Warner Interactive.
Atari chief financial officer August Liguori denied any assets are being
liquidated. ``We're not going out of the videogame business. We have $50
million, and we're going to continue making strategic investments and
developing and publishing for all our platforms,'' he said.
But sources said it's unlikely that development deals already under way
will proceed, and said the Jaguar videogame hardware and CDs are no longer
In addition, sources said, Atari plans to vacate its office space by the
end of next month, and its warehouse must be emptied by the end of April.