John Riccitiello steps down as CEO of Electronic Arts.

#1 Edited by Metal_Mills (2997 posts) -

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."

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

Holy shit! Looks like SimCity was the last straw.


#2 Posted by EuanDewar (4925 posts) -

RICCITELLO OUT

#3 Edited by Itwastuesday (965 posts) -

in before a bunch of wild-ass and uninformed speculation

#4 Edited by MildMolasses (3221 posts) -

I'm honestly shocked he got this far. Time for Peter Moore to save us all

#5 Posted by Wacomole (819 posts) -

He then got in his car and drove to the nearest available job.

#6 Edited by believer258 (11911 posts) -

I didn't expect this so soon.

Online
#7 Edited by AMyggen (3051 posts) -

#8 Edited by Winternet (8019 posts) -
@believer258 said:

I didn't expect this so soon.

Some may say it's already a year too late.

@amyggen: Oh, that's so good.

#9 Posted by Snail (8606 posts) -

I guess Jeff was wrong when he said that if he could make it through The Old Republic, he could make it through anything.

I sort of saw things the same way though, so I'm kinda shocked. I'm looking forward to see what this means for EA as a company. I wonder what'll change and what won't.

#10 Edited by Benny (1953 posts) -

@mildmolasses said:

I'm honestly shocked he got this far. Time for Peter Moore to save us all

It's free entry to the gun show...

AND WE'RE ALL INVITED YEEEAAAAHHHHHH

#11 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Use the CBSi money to hire him as an irregular personality on the Bombcast!

Also, that press release felt super-scummy to read.

#12 Posted by MX (232 posts) -

Wow I certainly didn't expect this, I wonder if he was kindly asked to resign or if he resigned on his own terms.

#13 Posted by Winternet (8019 posts) -

"Sitting here waiting for phone call about possible promotion." - Jeff Green. Haha nice one dad.

#14 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2298 posts) -

@winternet: damn it I was just about to post that!

#15 Edited by Metal_Mills (2997 posts) -

@mx said:

Wow I certainly didn't expect this, I wonder if he was kindly asked to resign or if he resigned on his own terms.

After the failure with TOR, MoH bombing, the terrible image EA has been given, Mass Effect 3, now SimCity. He was either booted or left before he was about to be.

#16 Posted by joshthebear (2700 posts) -

Shocked that he made it so long.

#17 Edited by awesomeusername (4185 posts) -

So uh... What was wrong with the guy?

#18 Edited by Colourful_Hippie (4351 posts) -

It took this long?

#19 Edited by Benny (1953 posts) -

@awesomeusername said:

So uh... What was wrong with the guy?

He's been at the helm for as long as EA has been viewed negatively (CEO since 2007), think 'worst company in the world' , the old republic, Dragon age 2, micro transaction bullshit, origin, all the companies they've helped burn to the ground, and now sim city.

Edit: EA were only voted worst company in america, not too bad then.

#20 Posted by Nikoran (165 posts) -

Thank God.

#21 Posted by leinad44 (514 posts) -

But will this change EA?

#22 Posted by Jams (2961 posts) -

@snail said:

I guess Jeff was wrong when he said that if he could make it through The Old Republic, he could make it through anything.

That was the very first thing I thought of. Then I thought about that video game industry crash youtube video where the guy thinks EA will be the first to fall.

#23 Posted by awesomeusername (4185 posts) -

@benny said:

@awesomeusername said:

So uh... What was wrong with the guy?

He's been at the helm for as long as EA has been viewed negatively (CEO since 2007), think 'worst company in the world' , the old republic, Dragon age 2, micro transaction bullshit, origin, all the companies they've helped burn to the ground, and now sim city.

Edit: EA were only voted worst company in america, not too bad then.

Agh, yes. Well, good for EA then. Also, I'm sure EA was voted worst company in America by an internet poll. Most of those people voting were the people pissed about ME3.

#24 Posted by EXTomar (4736 posts) -

I'm honestly shocked he got this far. Time for Peter Moore to save us all

You mean the guy who while SimCity was exploding and on fire was complaining about an article for Dead Space 3?

#25 Posted by Pikawai (135 posts) -

I wonder what will come out of this, but I do hope for the best.

#26 Posted by Ennosuke (59 posts) -

Hell yes, he is gone!

And now tell the guys from DICE to make a Mirror´s Edge 2!

#27 Posted by Kaiserreich (699 posts) -

Go home and be a family man.

#28 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4208 posts) -

Very interesting. I think he'd be smart enough to stay on the board.

Peter Moore would be a fine choice. At least he's better than a bank CEO, or something.

#29 Posted by Dalai (7030 posts) -

I guess now is the time to invest in EA stock.

#30 Edited by jakob187 (21671 posts) -

While people will constantly focus on the negative in the man's career, I think it should be noted that there are a ton of positives that he helped establish as well.

First, there is the EA Partners Program. Through that, we were able to get Left 4 Dead/Portal 2/The Orange Box (console versions, mind you), Shadows of the Damned, Brutal Legend, Crysis, Rock Band, Shank, Warp, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Alice; Madness Returns, and some other killer games.

Second, he had a hard focus early on for original IPs. Because of that, we saw stuff like Mirror's Edge, Dead Space, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Skate. Yes, there were some flops in there as well: Army of Two, Dante's Inferno, Spore, Warhammer Online, The Saboteur and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Nonetheless, he still believed in original IPs and some strong licensed work. He was also willing to focus on some revamps. He handed Need for Speed over to Criterion, who turned out two excellent games. He greenlit a new SSX game. He pushed for a huge back catalog of games (through the help of Paul Barnett and places like GOG.com) to become readily available to the public, INCLUDING SYSTEM SHOCK 2! That last piece ALONE is a monumental accomplishment.

Third, he pushed hard for digital gaming over retail clutter. Because of this, EA created Origin. While the service had a rough start (much the same way that Steam did when it first launched...and for about two years after that), Origin has quickly become a pretty great service.

Unfortunately, there has been a long recent string of stuff that just hasn't helped:

  • Dragon Age 2 being a failure
  • Medal of Honor + sequel failing
  • Mass Effect 3 controversy
  • Army of Two studio being shuttered before game release
  • Microtransactions in retail games and people whining about it
  • SimCity issues

Some of these things were beyond his control. Others were things he could've said "no, we're not putting out a new Medal of Honor." Nonetheless, shit happened.

In the end, there are positives within his time at EA. He helped bring in some big studios, and yes...he helped shut some down as well. Regardless, his myriad time with the company still produced positives, and the fact that people overlook all of that and instead just shit on him is kind of odd to me.

So, I say this: while your time with EA wasn't unmarred, John, I'm gonna miss you around. You greenlit some incredible projects, and I wish that the same drive could've lasted longer for you. It didn't, and that sucks.

#31 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4208 posts) -

I wonder.. : If EA backs out of micro-transactions, but then everybody else gets in, does EA lose?

#32 Posted by MonetaryDread (2033 posts) -

Well that took too long. EA has been in bad shape for a few years now and I hope that they can do better with the next guy.

#33 Posted by abomunist (118 posts) -

I hope somebody kicks him on the way out and then charges him $20 to put the tires back on his car.

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