CEO of Electronic Arts to Step Down March 30

Electronic Arts has announced that CEO John Riccitiello will step down March 30. He will be replaced temporarily by former EA CEO Larry Probst while the board of executives searches for a permanent CEO.

In a letter to EA employees, Mr. Riccitiello writes, “My decision to leave EA is really all about my accountability for the shortcomings in our financial results this year. It currently looks like we will come in at the low end of, or slightly below, the financial guidance we issued to the Street, and we have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago. And for that, I am 100 percent accountable.”

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It’s true that EA’s stock has been in something of a slump since 2009. In his letter, however, Riccitiello specifically praises EA’s mobile division, saying, “You are number one in the fastest growing segment, mobile, with incredible games like The Simpsons: Tapped Out, Real Racing 3, Bejeweled, SCRABBLE and Plants v. Zombies.”

Whether the next permanent CEO will be able to bring in higher profits, of course, remains to be seen.

8 thoughts on “CEO of Electronic Arts to Step Down March 30

    • The SimCity debacle is a horrible, brand-destroying mess for EA, but it’s just the latest in a long line of bloopers and bad decisions for the company during Riccitiello’s tenure. In particular, they’ve been racing Zynga and Activision to the bottom when it comes to exploitative styles of monetization.

      • This is true to a point. The mobile line is actually doing quite well for them, but I’m assuming you’re talking about EA being responsible for the nickel and dimming that’s happend to their AAA titles like Dead Space and MassEffect. More likely his resignation is stemming from four years of being in the red, an embarrassing attempt to buy Take2, EA Sport’s failure to have anything be a success that isn’t called Madden, Star Wars: The Old Republic bringing in less than impressive returns, Origins being almost universally hated, and really expensive acquisitions of other companies.

    • Also, Andrew, it should be noted that EA refuses to confirm/deny that the online only aspect is because of DRM. They still claim it’s because of the way the game was built and meant to be played.

  1. Sim City is just the last straw in a string of awful (greedy) moves by EA. Someone had to be accountable for it. Hopefully they change their business model as a result.

  2. Real Racing 3 was the last straw for me. May never support EA again. Not Madden. Not NHL. Not FIFA. Not any ios apps. Nothing.

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