EA CEO John Riccitiello Resigns - UPDATED

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EA CEO John Riccitiello Resigns - UPDATED

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John Riccitiello has announced that he will step down as chief executive of Electronic Arts at the end of the month.

Acknowledging that the company's financial performance is tracking below expectations, John Riccitiello, who has served as CEO of Electronic Arts since 2007, submitted his letter of resignation to the board of directors today. His final day will be March 30.

Riccitiello will be temporarily succeeded by Larry Probst, who was named Executive Chairman by the board. "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," Probst said in a statement. "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."

"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," the soon-to-be-former CEO added. "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."

Riccitiello actually assumed the CEO mantle from Probst while the company was still trading at around the $60 mark; the subsequent half-decade has seen the company's share value plunge to well under $20. Whether that crash in value, and EA's inability to return to its previous state, had anything to do with Riccitiello's decision to fall on his sword is the sort of question that nobody in a position to know will ever answer, but is nonetheless almost certain.

UPDATE: In his resignation letter, Riccitiello stated that his decision to leave was driven by "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," he wrote. "And for that, I am 100 percent accountable."

Riccitiello's resignation letter can be read in full at the EA Blog.

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Is it too late to get the torches and pitchforks out?

that was unexpected and good news, his policies have basically alienated gamers and come close to destroying EA

But let's see how the next in line does with EA. Could be better or worse. Either way, we gonna find out soon.

Would be surprised if they change their policies.

Well, uh... that's kind of out of the blue, I guess.

Happy trails, I suppose. Hopefully this means EA won't be as much of a dick anymore. It probably won't do anything, though. I'm not even sure what he did.

Joyous day!

... Though really, I have to doubt that this'll change much. Oh well, there is at least a slight chance things will be better. A slight chance is better then none.

NOOOOOO!!

Now who will Jim make fun of?!

John Riccitiello: The man who turned trading EA stock into micro-transactions!

I doubt this will change anything, but it is nice to see him finally go as we forge ahead into year six of his three year turn around.

His hubris on taking the position (and utter failure to meet his own targets) has a nice parallel to EA as a whole's trajectory over the last few years.

You know, that picture is actually more horrifying than Jim's version (below)

image

There's just a subtle hint of "I'm going to kill you and no one will ever know" about that face.

Moving on...

Can't say him leaving is a huge loss for me. While I know that just changing the man at the top will probably not do much to change EA, Riccitiello has presided over some of EA's shittier behaviour and whoever comes in after Probst (assuming he doesn't stay on) may be able to hopefully change them for the better, however slightly.

Well, we all can dream, can't we?

EDIT: How come I didn't know that JR had a ballad for him.

cyvaris:
NOOOOOO!!

Now who will Jim make fun of?!

Here ya go... the flesh is gone but the spirit remains! Spooooky! =D

Could it have something to do with the SimCity mess? Not that it affected EA's share price much.

Oh well, new CEO probably won't mean new company vision

'Important Strategic Initiatives'...

So it's his fault?

And EA is outstanding... it should be out standing and thinking about why it abuses us?

Absolutely required:

EA's still going to be assholes as soon as the next guy steps up, but just for today, we celebrate.

Break out the champagne gamers! Tonight we celebrate!

Of course I dubious at how much the change of CEO will effect EA's direction as a company but I will take this as a win for us and keep cautiously optimistic that just maybe EA can be slightly less evil for a bit.

EDIT

God damn ninj'd on the wizard of oz! Oh well take it away Kool & The Gang

Ding dong, the witch is dead. I don't think this is going to lead to a massive shakeup in corporate policy. A CEO is elected by the shareholders, after all.

Back when he was brought to the helm of EA in 2007 i was honestly kind of excited. He was a CEO who played games! Fucking imagine that. He also greenlight some new IP's like Dead Space and Mirror's Edge.

However, I just sort of lost respect for him as the years went on.

I'm glad he's out and I hope someone with a more consumer friendly mindset will step in after Probst's brief transition role.

Kevlar Eater:

But let's see how the next in line does with EA. Could be better or worse. Either way, we gonna find out soon.

very true, still at least its shaking things up, not like the new CEO could do much worse...

-that statement is NOT A CHALLENGE EA. do not take it as such.

Great start! Now to move on to the board of directors, the CFO, and everyone else in a position of power there. Seriously, changing the guard in one position, no matter how powerful, in a company will NOT change their policies. In order to do that the whole leadership must be changed. But let's not ruin the day; this is a start, a glorious start.

It all comes together. SimCity was his plan to sabotage the company from within and do as much damage as he could before leaving!

P.S. Thanks

rofltehcat:
Would be surprised if they change their policies.

Indeed.

People come and go in companies such as this all of the time, it doesn't really change much when it comes down to it. The chances are he is just a scape-goat to keep the shareholders happy. It's much easier to blame an individual for a companies failures rather than admit the core policies are wrong.

Full:
Well, uh... that's kind of out of the blue, I guess.

Happy trails, I suppose. Hopefully this means EA won't be as much of a dick anymore. It probably won't do anything, though. I'm not even sure what he did.

Not really. EA's fiscal performance during his tenure has been... well, abysmal. Look here (hit annual): https://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ:EA&fstype=ii

Over the past 4 years, EA's Net Income is about -$2B. I'm kind of surprised he wasn't removed earlier.

New CEO should consider getting a new PR/ Marketing department. Just saying, the current one is doing a very good job making EA look the villain. Not sure that's good for the company.

Most notable failure was the "Moms hate dead space" campaign XD

(Seems I've been ninja'd but I don't care, too happy!)

Hopefully they can get someone in there with some goddamn business sense. And I mean business sense in "how can we make gamers want to buy our products?", not "how can we try to screw over our customers for as much money as possible?". Yeah yeah yeah business exist to make money, go watch the Jimquisition episode on the subject if you want to know my response to that. The point here is that the former makes customers actually want to give companies money (see Valve) and the latter makes people hate you (see EA, of course). EA has been nothing but a mess of consumer unfriendly practices that has made more and more people hate them over recent years.

On a side note, can someone please explain to me what everyone's objection to Project Ten Dollar is? That was about the only good thing EA ever did this generation in terms of business practices, and people raged on that more than they do about online passes, always online DRM, bullshit DLC practices, and all the other evil has done. Honestly, I still don't see what was so bad about a company saying "Hey, thanks for buying our game new and supporting us. In return, have some free DLC." That was fucking brilliant, that's how you SHOULD try to drive in more new game sales over used sales: by THANKING YOUR CUSTOMERS. But everyone bitched and now what we get is a shitty online pass that we have to enter to prove we actually bought the game new? And people DEFEND this one?! The fuck is wrong with people?

Personally, I think we've never been in a better position as a company.

How about 6 years ago before you came in and ruined everything? When your stock was worth more and people didn't think you were the anti-christ of gaming? I'd say EA was in a better position as a company then, Johnny.

Light the candles and bring out the whiskey!, this day just got good.Not sure what will happen to ea in general probably not much but think everybody us gamer's went against bad gaming practices and showed ea who's right and john may of step down because of it celebrate my fellow gamer's Rejoice!

Wait wait wait wait.... "John Riccitiello" in the headline, and it's actually good news? I never thought it possible.

Legion:

rofltehcat:
Would be surprised if they change their policies.

Indeed.

People come and go in companies such as this all of the time, it doesn't really change much when it comes down to it. The chances are he is just a scape-goat to keep the shareholders happy. It's much easier to blame an individual for a companies failures rather than admit the core policies are wrong.

True. But it is so cathartic when they do throw the angry masses a scapegoat.

One down gentleman (and ladies). We get Kotick and they'll all fall.

Lets not go cheering to soon. I expect the next guy to be much worse then him

mjc0961:

Personally, I think we've never been in a better position as a company.

How about 6 years ago before you came in and ruined everything? When your stock was worth more and people didn't think you were the anti-christ of gaming? I'd say EA was in a better position as a company then, Johnny.

Well at this point, they've got very little to do but improve...so they are in a pretty good position, from a certain point of view.

Allow me to express my feelings in video and music

Seriously though, oh sweet Jesus I hope this is a change for the better. It couldn't get worse...Right? Guys?

EA CEO being taken offline due to server issues.

My snark for the month.

Captcha: save face

Lets hope the new guy/gal will tell that to the PR department.

Since he became CEO EA went to shit, maybe we'll see an improvement now and Activision will once again take it's rightful place as 'most hated video game publisher'

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