Video game company Atari Inc. has appointed music-industry veteran Jim Caparro as president/CEO, choosing an executive with a proven track record of leading companies to fiscal prosperity.

Video game company Atari Inc. has appointed music-industry veteran Jim Caparro as president/CEO, choosing an executive with a proven track record of leading companies to fiscal prosperity.

Caparro will run day-to-day operations for the company while Bruno Bonnell, who gave up the CEO and president positions to make room for Caparro, will continue as chairman/chief creative officer of the company.

In its most recent fiscal period ended Sept. 30, Atari recorded a loss of $16.9 billion, or 14 cents per diluted share, on revenues of $71.4 million. For the first six months of its current fiscal year, Atari's net loss totals $5.7 million on revenues of $181. 7 million.

While the video game business may be new to Caparro, its distribution mirrors the music industry in many ways, particularly in that Atari sells to practically the same account base. While he has a long background in distribution, Caparro really put himself on the map through a series of innovative policies when he headed up PolyGram Group Distribution during the 1990s.

But his appointment at Atari also probably puts Caparro's dream of becoming the record industry's backroom for manufacturing and distribution on the back burner. Sources say Caparro had been involved in negotiations to buy the worldwide manufacturing and distribution operations of Universal Music Group. But that deal fell through when Caparro and his financial backer, Apollo Advisors, couldn't agree on terms.

In the aftermath of Caparro's announcement, Atari stock was trading at $2.22, up 11.7% from its close yesterday (Nov. 29) of $1.97.

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