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.”
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.