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You Won't Have John Riccitiello to Kick Around Anymore

EA's beleaguered CEO has stepped down from the company.

The now former EA CEO John Riccitiello.

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello has stepped down from his role in the company, the publisher announced today.

In his place, current board chairman and former CEO Larry Probst has stepped up to man the company as the board searches for Riccitiello's replacement.

The announcement came in the form of a press release (which can be read in full here) in which Probst thanked Riccitiello for his efforts, but stated that the two "mutually agreed that this is the right time for a leadership transition."

Riccitiello's departure is an intriguing, but not unexpected one. The now former CEO had come under some scrutiny after several big budget EA projects--including the $200 million sinkhole that was Star Wars: The Old Republic--failed to meet expectations.

We've reached out for further comment from EA. We'll update this story if/when more becomes available.

Here's his full resignation letter, per an SEC filing:

March 17, 2013

Mr. Larry Probst

Chairman Electronic Arts

Dear Larry,

I hereby offer my resignation as CEO of Electronic Arts effective with the end of our Fiscal Year 13 on March 30, 2013.

This is a tough decision, but it all comes down to accountability. The progress EA has made on transitioning to digital games and services is something I’m extremely proud of. However, it currently looks like we will come in at the low end of, or slightly below, the financial guidance we issued in January, and we have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago. EA’s shareholders and employees expect better and I am accountable for the miss.

I have been at the helm as EA’s CEO for six years and served as COO for nearly seven years starting in 1997. I know this company well, and I care deeply about its future success. I leave knowing EA is a great company, with an enormously talented group of leaders and the strongest slate of games in the industry. I could not be more proud of our company’s games, from Battlefield and FIFA, to The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Real Racing 3. We have built many great franchises that will serve the company well in FY14 and beyond. In particular, I am confident that the investments we have made in games for next-generation consoles will put EA in a strong leadership position for many years ahead.

In offering my resignation, my goal is to allow the talented leaders at EA a clean start on FY14. I look forward to working with you in the coming weeks on an effective leadership transition. I’m extremely honored to have led this company and proud to have worked with all the great people at Electronic Arts.

Sincerely,

/s/ John Riccitiello

John Riccitiello

Alex Navarro on Google+
270 Comments
Posted by frytup

"I am not a crook."

Online
Edited by mrfluke

Not surprised

Posted by UberExplodey

Jeff Green for CEO

Posted by DaBuddaDa

Not necessarily a good thing for gamers. Wait and see who replaces him permanently first.

Edited by Stimpack

Sir, I'm going to have to ask that you take your large sacks of money and leave the building.

Posted by MattyFTM

JEFF GREEN FOR CEO!!!!!

Moderator
Posted by abdo

RIP

Edited by VipeR

Can't say I'm surprised

Edited by DrDarkStryfe

The Peter Moore era should be interesting,

It had to come. As much as John tried to change the image of the company, the market did not care for the original titles it tried to make at the beginning of the generation. There has also been way too many bad PR incidents in the last couple years that EA did a terrible job at controlling the message of. You cannot let the market go wild with speculation like it has been.

Posted by Ett
Edited by Ben_H

As I said in the other thread, Scrooge is the next logical step.

Edited by p_p_o_d

Finally a EA release that I am satisfied with

Posted by Rirse

Good riddance.

Edited by Funkydupe

He sure didn't step down as a result of EA doing poorly. Even SimCity sold over a million copies the first week. :)

Posted by graf1k

Things are looking up for Peter Moore...

Edited by Winternet

It's time for Peter Moore to make his glorious triumphant comeback!

Edited by fox01313

Hopefully they get rid of some of the common video game faults lately (ie. multiplayer in everything, dlc crazy, ect.) that EA tends to be a common suspect of putting in every one of their games the last few years.

Edited by AMyggen

Posted by nmarchan
Edited by jedge

Peter Moore for CEO?

Posted by SomeJerk

If this was because of Sim City, then I'm sad for it.

If this was because the decline despite everything over the years, why was the board, investors, stock holders unable to have it done by force?

Edited by Roogle

Sorry, still hate it what EA it is doing with every PC release they have done for the past 5 years.

Edited by Krakn3Dfx
Posted by TooWalrus

Peter. Molyneux.

Edited by Sparky_Buzzsaw

That's a classy resignation letter. Accepting the responsibility of EA's fiscal woes with certain projects rather than pointing the finger elsewhere is pleasantly surprising, given the way we as a society tend to point the finger anywhere but at ourselves.

Moderator Online
Posted by Nightriff

WHAT?! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!

Lasted longer than he probably should've

Edited by DarkPants

Oh dang!

Posted by Viking_Funeral

On one hand I saw this coming, but on the other I wasn't sure if EA would finally pull the plug. I wonder what kind of change this will entail, and if it will be for the betterment of relations between EA and their potential customers.

Edited by aidros

I'm guessing the "leadership transition" for Riccitello means "time to roll in my piles of money"

Edited by breton

Is it over? No, it's not.

Posted by Tetharion

That's a classy resignation letter. Accepting the responsibility of EA's fiscal woes with certain projects rather than pointing the finger elsewhere is pleasantly surprising, given the way we as a society tend to point the finger anywhere but at ourselves.

agreed, you don't see that very often

well, let's see how it goes from here...

Posted by Snail
@mattyftm said:

JEFF GREEN FOR CEO!!!!!

This I can get behind. Screw the Peter Moore supporters.

Jeff Green for EA CEO 2013
Posted by Pixeldemon

No one saw this coming. But in all seriousness, they need someone who acknowledges they have a serious public image problem and will take authentic steps to repair their brand.

Edited by Waffley

Ruh roh!

Posted by Draxyle

Well this is interesting. I'd like to put all the faults of EA over the last five years on him, but the problem goes much deeper than that I'm certain. Still, he is responsible for approving a whole lot of un-finished and/or broken games for release and not putting a lid on some of the more blatant anti-consumer practices out there.

I don't have much hope for a complete turnaround of the company's policies, but we'll see what happens from here.

Edited by SpicyRichter

Anyone that expects the direction to change because of this is crazy. EA has a board which makes these decisions, not the CEO

Posted by Zaccheus

$200 million... Old Republic was such a bad idea, in hindsight.

Posted by Kerned

"Oh no, that's terrible news"

- Nobody
Edited by Stimpack

"You just got Thiefed." - Cowboy '87

Edited by WarlockEngineerMoreDakka
@somejerk said:

If this was because of Sim City, then I'm sad for it.

99% sure this has little to do with Sim City. :P

Sim City has been doing pretty well. (Over 1 million in 2 weeks)

Posted by MariachiMacabre

That's a classy resignation letter. Accepting the responsibility of EA's fiscal woes with certain projects rather than pointing the finger elsewhere is pleasantly surprising, given the way we as a society tend to point the finger anywhere but at ourselves.

Agreed. I don't like the way he's done business the last couple of years but I respect the way he chose to go out.

Edited by BillyTheKid

RON PAUL 2012

Wait this is EA. Well Green is a pretty chill dude who looks like he knows what to do. Though EA could move to "casual games" but honestly better for them to do that then to go straight into the fires of hell.

PS there is a sim city ad staring me in the face below.

Posted by MrAsshat

He will be missed, said nobody ever.

Edited by Dylabaloo

@abdo said:

RIP

That was just fantastic, thanks.

Edited by Wacomole

As much as it would be interesting to see Peter Moore (or Jeff Green) get the nod, I reckon they'll use this opportunity to headhunt someone from an entirely different background.

Edited by EnduranceFun

It's a feature!

Edited by DrDarkStryfe

EA stock is 5% up in after hours trading. Investors are happy about the news.

Posted by MjHealy

SWERVE!

Yeah, it seems like the inevitable has arrived. Ever since The Old Republic, it was a ticking time bomb for Riccitiello. I would say Jeff Green for CEO, but Mr. Green ain't no suit.

Posted by RetroVirus

Yes. He's just the guy to revitalize the image of EA into the digital future!

@snail said:
@mattyftm said:

JEFF GREEN FOR CEO!!!!!

This I can get behind. Screw the Peter Moore supporters.

Jeff Green for EA CEO 2013

Posted by Veektarius

@funkydupe: It says right there in the resignation letter that EA is at risk of missing expectations. It's not like they've had a THQ-like risky bombed release, they've been playing it safe, but their safe releases have all been received less warmly than one would expect, which would lead to net dissatisfaction with investors.