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GreenScreen Interactive Starts with Indicted Take-Two Executives

| 25 Apr 2008 15:00
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Ron Chaimowitz, Founder of GT Interactive, is building a new publishing empire with the help of former Take-Two executives caught in the stock option backdating scandal.

GreenScreen Interactive Software, helmed by Chief Executive Officer Ron Chaimowitz (Founder of GT Interactive, publisher of hits such as DOOM, Quake and Unreal), has launched with the massive announcement of two large acquisitions. Two independent publishers, Destination Software, Inc. and ZOO Digital Publishing, will be merging as Zoo Games, a family-friendly casual games label for GreenScreen.

"The acquisition of these two publishers provides us with several advantages, including world-class management, infrastructure, distribution, high-profile licenses and an exciting lineup of products for the burgeoning mass-market sector," said Ron Chaimowitz, CEO of GreenScreen. "I'm looking forward to working with the seasoned industry team at GreenScreen as well as our new partners at Zoo Games to build something truly special."

Susan Kain, Founder and CEO of Destination Software, added, "The explosive expansion of the casual games market makes it one of the fastest-growing segments of the interactive entertainment industry. With a focused strategy designed to impact the sector, added depth of experience, expertise and creativity that results from the integration into the GreenScreen family, this new partnership will undoubtedly deliver superior gaming experiences that are the cornerstone of building a first-class publishing house."

"We are pleased to align ourselves with GreenScreen Interactive Software, and are excited at the opportunities generated by a global organization," stated Ian Stewart, Chairman of ZOO Digital. "We look forward to expanding our presence beyond the European marketplace, and working hand in hand with a group of successful and dynamic industry professionals to further develop the company's product portfolio."

Newsweek reporter N'Gai Croal discovered that part of Chaimowitz's management team is composed of ex-Take-Two Interactive executives who were indicted by the Securities and Exchange Commission for backdating stock options.

"It was initially founded by Ryan Brant, Mark Seremet and Susan Cummings," CEO Ron Chaimowitz told us Newsweek. "Mark and Ryan were founders of Take-Two Interactive, and Susan was at Take-Two and actually worked with Ryan to build the 2K label very successfully from zero to $400 million over four years."

When asked by N'Gai Croal about the dangers of hiring a staff who departed from its last company following government criminal charges and a hostile takeover of the company by its investors, Chaimowitz responded:

Did I have concerns? Yes. Did I think it was a major obstacle? No. I think that what Ryan brings is a tremendous creative and strategic vision for product. The areas that will Ryan will focus on will be in those areas. He will not - and he's not allowed to - be on the board. He's not an officer of the company. We'll deal with any particular issues that come up from an SEC perspective as we go forward, but we're fairly confident that they will be non-issues given the role that he'll play in the company.

Disclosure(s): Strauss Zelnick, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., is the head of ZelnickMedia, an investor in both Take-Two and Defy Media, LLC, our parent company. This article was published without approval or consent of ZelnickMedia or Take-Two.
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