While the writing might have been on the wall for a while, it still came as a bit of a shock this past Monday when John Riccitiello left his position as EA’s CEO. Citing lower than expected financial targets, Mr. Riccitiello’s turn as EA’s CEO will officially be done on March 30, where he will be replaced by Larry Probst (EA’s former CEO from 1991-2007) for the interim. Riccitiello said this about his departure in a letter to the company:
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.
As part of his separation agreement, Riccitiello will receive 24 months of payment, which is not a shabby deal, all things considered.
EA has made some big profile misses in the last few years, most notably Star Wars: The Old Republic, which went free-to-play just a year after its release. The company has taken a lot of gambles on downloadable content and microtransactions, most of which have not caught on with the vocal hardcore-gaming public.
Source – Polygon
What do you think this news holds for EA’s future? Can the next CEO turn it around, or will EA continue along this path?