Atari Founds Atari Computers
Speaking at a panel discussion on niche marketing at the Comdex computer trade show in Atlanta this past April, Neil Harris told the small but interested audience that "Atari's roots were firmly placed in games, even before the Tramiels took over the company." Neil said that the slump in the 8-bit market has partly been due to slow product releases (disk drives and software) and to the lack of a game-plan to revamp the Atari 8-bit home computer market.
Neil was previously employeed by Atari as director of corporate communications, which made him the mouthpiece through which the company would communicate both rumors and facts about news and information pertaining to Atari computers. With a new title, Director of Product Marketing, Neil is now working for a new entity within Atari called Atari Computers. In an age where you can buy an Atari calculator in your local grocery store, or buy a 7600 cartridge-based game machine at your local toy store, Atari Computers is a newly founded division to market Atari's home and business computers in the US market.
Previously, the Tramiels had set up one person to be the marketing director for Atari Corp. Jerry Brown was a well established marketing director at IBM before joining Atari in 1987. Jerry arrived with great fanfare, but left the company six weeks later. Four other marketing directors floated through Atari in 1987. The new Atari Computers is headed by Chuck Babbit, President; Tony Gould, VP. Sales; and Neil Harris, Marketing. Hopefully the new combination will turn things around for the XL/XE line.