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Star Wars: The Old Republic: EA CEO John Riccitiello Steps Down

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,658MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

According to Gamasutra, a memo has been sent out to various news outlets indicating that EA CEO John Riccitello has stepped down from his position with the company.

Here is a copy of the press release in its entirety.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – March 18, 2013 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today announced that John Riccitiello will step down as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors, effective March 30. The Board has appointed Larry Probst as Executive Chairman to ensure a smooth transition and to lead EA’s executive team while the Board conducts a search for a permanent CEO. The Board will consider internal and external candidates with the assistance of a leading executive search firm.

Mr. Probst has played a leadership role at EA since 1991. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Board since 1994, he previously served as the Company’s CEO from 1991 to 2007. As CEO, Probst successfully grew the Company’s annual revenues from $175 million to approximately $3 billion, led EA into new platforms such as mobile, online and other emerging markets and expanded its international presence to more than 75 countries.

“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,” said Mr. Probst. “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.”

On behalf of the Board, Lead Director Richard A. Simonson stated, “As we begin the CEO search, we are fortunate that Larry, who has a proven track record with our employees, partners and customers, has agreed to assume a day-to-day leadership role as Executive Chairman. He has 16 years of experience as CEO of EA and a deep understanding of the Company’s strategy, management team, business potential and industry trends.”

Mr. Riccitiello stated, “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. 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.”

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Comments

  • BeansnBreadBeansnBread PshPosts: 5,503Member Uncommon

    Simcity is only the latest debacle for them, but it was a pretty nasty one.

     

    I wonder who will be the next punching bag?

  • RefMinorRefMinor MyTownPosts: 3,452Member
    Is F2P working for SWTOR?
  • Rthuth434Rthuth434 uniondale, NYPosts: 346Member
    I know some people are rejoicing, but they shouldn't be. those people are too young to remember EA's full history (pre- mass effect) so they're ignorant. Probst is the most vile CEO ever and gave EA their bad name. the only things you should expect to change is no more new IP's from the company whatsoever(buh bye mirrior's edge, dead space, etc.) and they'll ramp up their acquisition of smaller developers to what it was under Probst from 94-07.
  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    Honestly not surprised after SWTOR and SIM5 and ME3 and MOHWA...

    The EA hate train has been rolling really, really hard since Ricci took over.

     

  • Rthuth434Rthuth434 uniondale, NYPosts: 346Member
    Originally posted by BadSpock

    Honestly not surprised after SWTOR and SIM5 and ME3 and MOHWA...

    The EA hate train has been rolling really, really hard since Ricci took over.

     

    been rolling since 1991.

  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BadSpock

    Honestly not surprised after SWTOR and SIM5 and ME3 and MOHWA...

    The EA hate train has been rolling really, really hard since Ricci took over.

     

    I'm not a fan of Origin, either.

    I miss the days when people used to be able to buy and play a game or software without being forced to use Origin, Steam, Adobe Cloud-stuff, etc.

  • VlackeVlacke BelgradePosts: 155Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Rthuth434
    I know some people are rejoicing, but they shouldn't be. those people are too young to remember EA's full history (pre- mass effect) so they're ignorant. Probst is the most vile CEO ever and gave EA their bad name. the only things you should expect to change is no more new IP's from the company whatsoever(buh bye mirrior's edge, dead space, etc.) and they'll ramp up their acquisition of smaller developers to what it was under Probst from 94-07.

    Probst is just taking the seat for the time being, he most likely won't be in that position for long, the article clearly states that they are looking for their next CEO who would be more of a long term solution.

    Well it has to be said that Riccitiello certainly won't be missed, hopefully their next CEO turns out a bit better.

  • AG-VukAG-Vuk Phoenix, AZPosts: 823Member Uncommon
    It was inevitable that his head roll as well.  Everyone most associated with the SWTOR debacle has been fired, encouraged to leave or forced out. Sometimes CEO shouldn't talk as much to the press and more to the boards. Conducting lobbying efforts in public is not very wise. He liked his job too much to take responsiblity for SWTOR and other EA failures. At some point boards realize this. There was never a Mea culpa.

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  • zymurgeistzymurgeist Pittsville, VAPosts: 5,215Member Uncommon
    Yup. Anybody remember the "new EA" and how they weren't going to destroy gaming studios any more?

    "Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo

  • PsychowPsychow SF Giants Territory, CAPosts: 1,784Member

    I wonder how many more careers need to be destroyed before the gaming community is satisfied with their bloodlust...

     

  • tiefighter25tiefighter25 Winchester, MAPosts: 937Member
    Maybe he can check the config file for his employment contract. Apparently if you alter 2 lines, you can be employed forever without having to check into the home office.
  • DevilmarioDevilmario Warren, MIPosts: 18Member
    Well can't say we didnt try to warn you in beta about your up and coming failure of a game. Should listen to beta testers next time.
  • nbtscannbtscan Phoenix, AZPosts: 781Member Uncommon
    "Stepping Down" means "Asked to leave" in the corporate world.
  • DJMantissDJMantiss Tracy, CAPosts: 100Member

    Whomever thinks this CEO's career is ruined is naive. Every CEO, especially those from larger companies get golden parachutes, the likes of which could get the average person by for a good 40+ years. So I refuse to feel bad for the guy, at all, ever. 

     

    EA has a horrible reputation in the PC world and a dubous reputation in the console world. To say the CEO is the one to blame isa  bit goofy, obviously a ton of his VPs, Directors and Management are equally to blame if not more-so. Regardless he is taking the fall and we can only help that the next CEO is hand-on enough to really change how things are working.

  • PsychowPsychow SF Giants Territory, CAPosts: 1,784Member
    CEO of Fortune 500 company -----------> Pizza Delivery guy.
  • YamotaYamota LondonPosts: 6,620Member

    One suit down, houndreds left who will take his spot.

    EA is the symbol of big corps who favour profits over good games so this will most likely not change anything. They will continue to buy up, and destroy, good gaming companies to make a profit. They are the vulture capitalists of gaming.

  • tiefighter25tiefighter25 Winchester, MAPosts: 937Member

    JR-

    "This is a point that I think might be lost on many is a big and substantial portion of digital revenues are micro transactions. When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload."

    "You’re really not very price sensitive at that point in time and for what it’s worth the cogs on the clip really low. And so essentially when as it happening and the reason though the play first, pay later model works so nicely is the consumer gets engaged in a property, they might spend 10, 20, 30, 50 hours in the game."

    "And then when you’re deep into the game, they’re well invested in it. We’re not gauging but we’re charging and at that point in time the commitment can be pretty high."

     

    Good riddance.

  • VolgoreVolgore Posts: 2,210Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Psychow

    I wonder how many more careers need to be destroyed before the gaming community is satisfied with their bloodlust...

     

    You probably need more than both hands to count the millions this guy got for stepping down. That plus what he'll get as a "warm welcome" in his next position.

    Speaking of a "career destroyed" doesn't apply in those altitudes. Every day we see guys like him wasting people's billions, stepping down for millions and being contracted as a "counsellor" for even more millions right away again in the next company.

     

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  • HrimnirHrimnir Qeynos, COPosts: 1,597Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Rthuth434
    I know some people are rejoicing, but they shouldn't be. those people are too young to remember EA's full history (pre- mass effect) so they're ignorant. Probst is the most vile CEO ever and gave EA their bad name. the only things you should expect to change is no more new IP's from the company whatsoever(buh bye mirrior's edge, dead space, etc.) and they'll ramp up their acquisition of smaller developers to what it was under Probst from 94-07.

    No, they definitely should be.  Probst is a piranha to Riccitiello's tigershark, not only that probst is a temporary replacement.  He is basically there to make sure the boat stays floating until they can find a replacement.

    "The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."

    - Friedrich Nietzsche

  • moosecatlolmoosecatlol Boring, TXPosts: 1,174Member Uncommon
    Does this count as Schadenfreude? Just for a brief moment I get a giddy joy, too bad nothing will change. Simply a self mutilation PR stunt, almost humorous to think they can cut out the infection after it has already spread.
  • kakasakikakasaki Lockhart, TXPosts: 1,205Member
    Originally posted by Psychow

    I wonder how many more careers need to be destroyed before the gaming community is satisfied with their bloodlust...

     

    I wonder how long it will take companies to realize they can't keep screwing with their customers and not expect repercussion...

    A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true...

  • CalerxesCalerxes LondonPosts: 1,630Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Psychow

    I wonder how many more careers need to be destroyed before the gaming community is satisfied with their bloodlust...

     

     

    Though you are pretty much spot on Psychow when you cut through the "spwaned lov... sorry gamer" bullshit EA haven't really been knocking it out of the park lately have they and eventually the head honcho has to go.

    This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.

  • SBE1SBE1 New York, NYPosts: 335Member
    Originally posted by Yamota

    One suit down, houndreds left who will take his spot.

    EA is the symbol of big corps who favour profits over good games so this will most likely not change anything. They will continue to buy up, and destroy, good gaming companies to make a profit. They are the vulture capitalists of gaming.

    Sorry, but this is just really really misguided.   If a game is very popular, it will make lots of profits.   Equating good games with low profits is just silly.  Low profit because the games are bad.  You seem to have it backwards.

    EA certainly thought, as did many companies, that copying the success of WoW (which is very profitable because it was/is a good game), would make them lots of money.  Instead, they found out that it was either really hard to copy WoW or just too expensive (e.g., SWTOR and voice acting).  Once they spent $100m, $200m or so, they had to eventually release it.  How much would you prefer they spend? 

    Going forward, companies are looking to copy Eve Online, where the development expense is low and the players make the content, which is of course quite profitable.  

    Under your analysis, game companies should just make games and lose money.  Yeah, that's gonna work.

     

  • Paragus1Paragus1 Philadelphia, PAPosts: 1,739Member Uncommon
  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by Psychow

    I wonder how many more careers need to be destroyed before the gaming community is satisfied with their bloodlust...

     

    None, once companies stop screwing people over in the name of profit.

    You make me like charity

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