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EA CEO John Riccitiello Stepping Down

/ Mar 19th, 2013 No Comments

John Riccitiello
John Riccitiello

John Riccitiello

Electronic Arts chief executive officer John Riccitiello is stepping down from his position effective March 30, the company announced.

Riccitiello will be resigning from his position as CEO and member of the board of directors of one of the largest video game production companies in the world. He has served in the position since 2007.

EA has appointed Larry Probst to the position of Executive Chairman until a new CEO is hired. Probst, who will temporarily lead the company, has served as a chairman of the board for EA since 1994 and was the CEO from 1991 to 2007.

Riccitiello’s resignation comes on the heels of a public relations nightmare at EA. The recently released SimCity suffered from server errors that made the game unplayable for most users. The decision for SimCity to require an always-on Internet connection would lead to the game’s doom and severe company backlash. To make up for the issues with SimCity, EA is offering players who purchased the game an additional free game from the company’s catalog.

However, the SimCity fiasco was only the latest in a tough timeline of events for EA. The publisher behind hit franchises such as FIFA and Battlefield decided to pull the plug on the Medal of Honor series due to poor performance. EA also projected the online multiplayer game Star Wars: The Old Republic would be a hit but had to add a free-to-play element to the game to draw in players.

“My decision to leave EA is really all about my accountability for the shortcomings in our financial results this year,” Riccitiello said in a letter posted on the official EA blog. ”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.”

EA’s fourth-quarter earnings are expected to be announced May 7.

Ryan Bloom

Ryan Bloom

Chief Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ryan Bloom is a writer and avid gamer from Orange County. He received a B.A. in Communications with a minor in American Studies from California State University, Fullerton in 2010. Follow him on Twitter @BloomsTweets.
Ryan Bloom
Ryan Bloom

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