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Electronic Arts CEO Steps Down

It's time to pass the torch over at Electronic Arts.

EA chief executive officer John Riccitiello has formally resigned his post at one of the world's biggest video game publishers. He has been CEO for six years but as of March 30, he will move on. He won't be a member of the board of directors, either.

In his place, EA has promoted veteran EA executive Larry Probst to the position of executive chairman while the company seeks a permanent replacement. Probst has been in a management position at EA since 1991 and was CEO from '91 through 2007. As of now, the company will be considering internal and external candidates and they're doing so with the help of a "leading executive search firm." So yeah, your resume might not cut it. Here's EA's statement from Probst concerning Riccitiello's departure:

"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. 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."

Riccitiello also had something to say about his leaving EA:

"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."

When you've been CEO of a corporation like EA, what do you do next? What would be considered a step up? Heck, I'd retire.

Tags: ea, electronic arts, ea ceo, john riccitiello

3/18/2013 9:17:02 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (8 posts)

Monday, March 18, 2013 @ 10:35:49 PM

My reporter's instincts are telling me that bunch of fluffy rhetoric says "We fired this guy" and he says "They gave me money not to say bad things about being fired."

And the gamer in me hopes a new leader can turn around the stupid decisions at EA, maybe get a woman CEO in there.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013 @ 1:41:23 AM

Of course. A press release is the *least* interesting thing to read in these kind of cases (or, well, in general really).

He obviously had to leave due to the Sim City scandal, the SW: Old Republic flop and MoH who didn't live up to the expectations.

Especially the Sim City case, who can be described as nothing else than a management scandal, should cause any head to roll.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013 @ 11:00:16 AM

No doubt he must have received a seven-figure golden handshake to leave, for bringing no additional value to the company. Tell me again, why these guys make so much money?!!?
Despite his failure, I'm sure he'll quite easily move on to his next million dollar job with ease.

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Monday, March 18, 2013 @ 11:04:19 PM

I wonder if they pressured him into stepping down.

Apparently EA was complaining that their profits didn't meet expectations. I wonder if they blame him.

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Monday, March 18, 2013 @ 11:09:30 PM

This had to happen. When he took lead EA became one of the most hated companies in the video game industry and ruin the reputations of developers like bioware and dice. Plus the bad rep there getting with the sim city fiasco, DS3 micro-transaction and the SWTOR flopped. You can't give him all the blame though.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013 @ 1:01:54 AM

It's a pretty interesting coincidence that the resignation came so close on the heels of the Simcity meltdown. I suspect that after all of the missteps in the last couple of years that this latest mess was just one screwup too many. The stock price has dropped by more than half and the company's image among it's customers has never been worse. Someone had to go.
On a side note, EA is once again up for the Worst Company in America award from the Consumerist and as they put it:
"No Golden Poo winner has ever repeated, but considering the timing of EA's most recent stumbles, we can only assume the company really wants a second trophy to match the one it’s already received."

Last edited by Kryten1029a on 3/19/2013 1:04:02 AM

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013 @ 4:41:47 AM

id like to believe this will turn around EA and steer them away from the title worlds worst company!
but that would be naive........

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013 @ 10:33:38 PM

Hopefully now they will actually, you know, make games. Clearly the "Buy studio making good games; run said games into the ground" approach isn't working. I wish they'd go back to making sports and stupid Web games, honestly. Leave the substantive stuff alone; EA is terrible at it, in every sense.

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