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John Riccitiello steps down as CEO of EA!

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http://kotaku.com/5991181/ea-ceo-john-riccitiello-steps-down

 

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)— Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today announced that John Riccitiello will step down as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors, effective March 30. The Board has appointed Larry Probst as Executive Chairman to ensure a smooth transition and to lead EA's executive team while the Board conducts a search for a permanent CEO. The Board will consider internal and external candidates with the assistance of a leading executive search firm.

 

Mr. Probst has played a leadership role at EA since 1991. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Board since 1994, he previously served as the Company's CEO from 1991 to 2007. As CEO, Probst successfully grew the Company's annual revenues from $175 million to approximately $3 billion, led EA into new platforms such as mobile, online and other emerging markets and expanded its international presence to more than 75 countries.

 

"We thank John for his contributions to EA since he was appointed CEO in 2007, especially the passion, dedication and energy he brought to the Company every single day," said Mr. Probst. "John has worked hard to lead the Company through challenging transitions in our industry, and was instrumental in driving our very significant growth in digital revenues. We appreciate John's leadership and the many important strategic initiatives he has driven for the Company. We have mutually agreed that this is the right time for a leadership transition."

 

On behalf of the Board, Lead Director Richard A. Simonson stated, "As we begin the CEO search, we are fortunate that Larry, who has a proven track record with our employees, partners and customers, has agreed to assume a day-to-day leadership role as Executive Chairman. He has 16 years of experience as CEO of EA and a deep understanding of the Company's strategy, management team, business potential and industry trends."

 

Mr. Riccitiello stated, "EA is an outstanding company with creative and talented employees, and it has been an honor to serve as the Company's CEO. I am proud of what we have accomplished together, and after six years I feel it is the right time for me pass the baton and let new leadership take the Company into its next phase of innovation and growth. I remain very optimistic about EA's future - there is a world class team driving the Company's transition to the next generation of game consoles."

 

It has finally happened! I'm amazed that he lasted this long.

 

Peter Moore's time to shine? How will this affect them going forward?

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Damn!

 

I'm guessing Iwata made a few phone calls.

 

The whole SimCity fiasco was probably the final straw that broke the shareholder's backs. He's no doubt been on thin ice for a while - especially after the tremendous failure that was The Old Republic.

 

I do wonder if this might re-instate some of that "unprecedented support" that Iwata originally wanted though... (Probably not if Microsoft's Mole Peter Moore gets the top job mind you...)

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The whole SimCity fiasco was probably the final straw that broke the shareholder's backs. He's no doubt been on thin ice for a while - especially after the tremendous failure that was The Old Republic.

 

It wouldn't surprise me if the timing was planned so they could SimCity to see how far they could go, then make it seem like it was this guy's fault.

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It wouldn't surprise me if the timing was planned so they could SimCity to see how far they could go, then make it seem like it was this guy's fault.

 

I think you accidentally a word....but i'm not sure which one.

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I think you accidentally a word....but i'm not sure which one.

 

I'm not quite sure which one, either.

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Just read the "article" over at Kotaku on this one. I won't justify it with a link but know it's not worth reading and not remotely funny. And I don't mean it's not funny because it's bad taste, although it is, but the "jokes" wouldn't be funny in any situation since they are all pretty crap.

 

He's made some decisions that have had some pretty public failings but I think it's difficult to deny that EA have become a better company for his time there. They really focused on higher quality and fresh IP than they were a decade ago - they scored quite highly in the Metacritic publishers review for 2012. I think Cube may be on to something with the timing of this alongside the SimCity debacle but I do wonder just how much of the fiasco concerning that game was really his doing. I understand that ultimately in any company, the buck stops with the CEO but I'm sure he isn't the guy spending every second trying to work out how to upset gamers and then actively encouraging his teams to implement said ideas - he's got bigger picture stuff to deal with. He moved them away from being an outdated dinosaur to something more in touch with the current and future gaming trends. Sometimes they've pushed too far and it's bit them on the ass but that's often the only way you learn these things.

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I think it also has a little to do with the failure of Medal of Honour War Fighter. EA have been desperate to produce a shooter that would pull in something approximating COD numbers. Whilst BF3 did well, it was still outsold over 2:1 by that year's instalment of COD. War Fighter is still yet to break a million on any system - which I'm sure will be considered a huge failure by EA, their shareholders and analysts alike, especially considering that Black Ops 2 has sold over 20 million units across the PS3 and 360.

 

To put things in perspective, the COD games on Wii have performed better than War Fighter has.

 

Add to the above the City fiasco and The Old Republic going F2P and you can see that outside of EA Sports cash cows things haven't been plain sailing.

 

Personally I'm happy. The jerk helped screw the Wii U at launch.

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