EA CEO Leaves Post
On 18th March 2013, John Riccitiello left his post as CEO of EA. One the largest gaming companies in the world, and responsible for the subdivision that has designed and redesigned sports gaming, Riccitiello has taken the fall for ‘shortcomings in financial results’.
In these touch economic times, in which some the biggest names in video gaming over the past 20 years are going out of business, it is both harrowing and a constant reminder that the video gaming industry on a whole is as susceptible to the economic downturn as anyone. Whilst EA had landed some big hits in terms of releases and sales this year (FIFA 13, Need For Speed, Battlefields and Dead Space 3) one wonders whether the current rise on mobile gaming has seen profits become harder to make, and with one of EA’s flag ship titles, Sim City, struggling with technical issues on day one, the air of confidence usually possessed by EA may have taken a battering.
Whether this movement at the top of of the company will filter down to EA Sports and in particular, the FIFA franchise remains to be seen, however the news has acted as a welcome reminder that just how close some of these gaming companies work to the edge, See the rull post from John Riccitiello below
To Everyone at EA –
I am writing with some tough news. I have resigned my position as EA’s CEO. I will be around for a couple of weeks, and I hope to have the chance to say goodbye to many of you. Larry Probst will be stepping in as Executive Chairman to help smooth the transition. Larry first hired me at EA in 1997 and he was an incredible leader for the company during the 16 years he served as CEO. While he will continue to be the Chairman of the US Olympic Committee, he will also provide leadership for EA until a permanent CEO is appointed.
My decision to leave EA is really all about my 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. And for that, I am 100 percent accountable.
Personally, I think we’ve never been in a better position as a company. You have made enormous progress in improving product quality. You are now generating more revenue on fewer titles by making EA’s games better and bigger. You’ve navigated a rapidly transforming industry to create a digital business that is now approximately $1.5 billion and growing fast. The big investments you’ve made in creating EA’s own platform are now showing solid returns. I believe EA is alone in mastering the challenges of building a platform for our games and services – a platform that will provide a more direct relationship with our consumers. You are number one in the fastest growing segment, mobile, with incredible games like The Simpsons: Tapped Out, Real Racing 3, Bejeweled, SCRABBLE and Plants v. Zombies. You have worked to put EA in a position to capture industry leadership on the next generation of consoles; and I believe two of our titles – Battlefield and FIFA – will be among the top few franchises in the entire industry. And the industry’s most talented management team – Frank, Rajat, Peter, Gaby, Andrew, Patrick, Blake, Joel and Jeff — are certain to lead the company to a successful future.
I remain an incredible fan of EA and everyone who works in our world – from Stockholm to Seoul, Orlando to Edmonton, Guildford, Geneva, Cologne, Lyon, Bucharest, Montreal, Austin, Salt Lake, LA and, of course, EARS. My hope is that my travels and yours allow us the opportunity to talk more in the months and years to come.
In a few weeks, I will be leaving EA physically. But I will never leave emotionally. I am so incredibly proud of all the great things you have done, and it has been my honor to lead this team these past six years. After March, I will be cheering wildly for EA from the sidelines.
For more information, please visit www.ea.com