The Beat

ea_logo_black_news_header_723x250.jpg POSTED BY Larry Probst, Executive Chairman ON Mar 18, 2013

From Larry Probst: EA Leadership Transition

Today John Riccitiello submitted his resignation to EA’s Board of Directors.  In a letter to the Board, John outlined that while the company has made enormous progress in improving product quality and transitioning to digital games and services, our financial performance is tracking below the expectations set at the beginning of our fiscal year.  This was disclosed in our last earnings call.

John’s final day will be March 30.  I will serve as executive chairman and work with John and the management team to ensure a smooth and orderly transition.  The Board will immediately initiate a search and both internal and external candidates will be considered for the CEO position.

I hired John in 1997 as our COO and, after leaving to start a private equity firm, he rejoined in 2007 as our CEO.  In 12 years of service, he compiled a history of great leadership.  John’s tenure at EA has been marked by bold decisions, a big vision for online games, a passion for product quality and an enduring respect for the people who work here.

John made an indelible mark on our culture and shaped many of our most successful leaders.  We wish him the very best in whatever he decides to do next.

Looking ahead, EA’s strategy and future are rock solid.  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!

Comments (13)

  1. +6 -1
    Oh what the hell, you talked me into it. I'll take the job! :-)
    Mar 18, 2013
    0 Replies
  2. +5 -2
    How about hiring someone who actually gives a tinker's damn about gamers? Novel idea but you never know, it might just catch on.
    Mar 18, 2013
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  3. +7 -1
    That last paragraph basically says "Screw PC gamers". Good to know, screw you too.
    Mar 18, 2013
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  4. +3 -1
    Here are some helpful tips for the next in line: 1) Listen to your customers. No, actually LISTEN! 2) Stop nickel-and-diming for everything. Day 1 DLC is utter ********. Day 1 DLC is content that should have been in the game to begin with. Stop being greedy. 3) Don't lie and belittle your customers. Should be common sense.
    Mar 18, 2013
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  5. +1 -6
    Stick to consoles.
    Mar 18, 2013
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  6. 0 0
    CEOs are a dime a dozen. The real problem is the board. The root of EA's problem is that it's public at a time when it's better to be private, especially when the industry is in a major state of flux. Right now, the only way for EA to weather the storm as a public company is to remain conservative and try to squeeze as much out of the margins as possible. Compared to the other smaller risk-takers who are succeeding, Riccitiello's actions seem look tame and frail.
    Mar 18, 2013
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  7. +1 0
    I should add that's why people are getting screwed (and feeling like they're being screwed). I'm certain nobody at EA wakes up saying "I think I am going to screw some of our customers today." But at a size like this, the company cannot be "in touch" with its user base—its management has to answer directly to profit goals, not individuals. It leaves a lot of talent frustrated. It's not wonder why so many use EA as a stepping stone to other careers. Just look at EA's turnover rate.
    Mar 18, 2013
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  8. +3 0
    i just want to add a comment to this. why cant larry be in charge?. he got the company to there land of milk and honey. and we PC gamers enjoyed everything under his rule. why go look for a other person. we already have the right guy there. every gamer loved when he was doing the CEO. if anything don't look for a new CEO. just keep larry. he has alot of experience under his belt. but that's something i would do. is re-promote the guy that works.
    Mar 18, 2013
    1 Reply
    1. +1 0
      I lay odds on it being Peter Moore. However, that would just be more of the same. They need to shake things up and I can't think of anyone who could manage that for them. What would do them best is to get someone with no ties to anybody in EA and have him trip the fat from the top down. Like me... ;-)
      Mar 19, 2013
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  9. +2 0
    Hopefully they can repair their relationship with Nintendo and start releasing some games for the Wii U. Many might not like the system and that is fine but that is one of the only ways EA will get my business.
    Mar 18, 2013
    1 Reply
    1. 0 0
      That should be obvious to them as Nintendo is like Apple - strong support for the brand based on history and innovation (I love my Wii U). Though I wouldn't hold my breath - EA has become a Microsoft run show (Peter Moore and Rajat Taneja are Microsfot guys) and it seems they have no problems dissing Ninetendo or Sony to kiss up to Xbox. Sad!
      Mar 19, 2013
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  10. 0 0
    Maybe it's time to appease the guys at Southpark Studios (Trey Parker and Matt Stone) and get them to like EA. When they did the episode on Make Love, Not Warcraft (Season 10) - I signed up for World of Warcraft because the show was so hillarious. Then they made fun of Peter Moore in Season 15 Crack Babies Association and it made me laugh too, but probably didn't make EA look too good. Just a thought - it could help to start with those 2 gamers.
    Mar 19, 2013
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  11. 0 0
    Well Mr Probst, you could start by reevaluating your stategy and values. Not every gamer is willing to put up with paying full price for what is basically a yearly team roster update, and not every gamer wants to be permanently online to play their games. Not every gamer enjoys linear shooters with no resemblance of a plot. And most importantly, not every gamer is rotten pirating scum, so stop treating us like we all are.
    Mar 20, 2013
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  12. 0 0
    New hire update.......EA needs monkeys to program, no need to think just take orders and shut up. have a nice day
    Mar 21, 2013
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  13. 0 0
    "Passion for product quality" is to EA as "authentic Italian cuisine" is to Olive Garden.
    Mar 25, 2013
    0 Replies