John Riccitiello, EA CEO Steps Down

-Marcus Lawrence

Just a couple of minutes ago, Electronic Arts declared that EA CEO John Riccitiello will be relieving his title as chief executive officer and as a member of the Board of Directors effective March 30th.

“This is a tough decision, but it all comes down to accountability,” Riccitiello states in his resignation letter. “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.” 

So who will be taking over for Riccitiello? Larry Probst, who used to be EA’s CEO from 1991 to 2007 and has served as a chairman since 1994. “Looking ahead, EA’s strategy and future are rock solid,” Probst wrote. “Our business is built on more than a dozen powerful, globally recognized brands. We are clear leaders in the fastest growing category in games - mobile - and we are positioned to lead on the next generation of consoles. Most importantly we have deep reserves of talent - new faces and industry veterans who form the core of EA’s leadership. We have an important year ahead of us and I look forward to working with all of you as we navigate the path to future success!”

Even with Probst taking over, EA is looking into internal and external candidates for a more permanent replacement. 

“EA is an outstanding company with creative and talented employees, and it has been an honor to serve as the Company’s CEO,” said Riccitiello in a previous statement. “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.”