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Riccitiello to depart as EA CEO

All comes down to accountability

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello says that it all comes down to accountability in his letter of resignation. Riccitiello says that this decision was not an easy one; but shareholders of EA will likely look at his departure as a turning point to help right the ship and get things back on track.

Under Riccitiello leadership, the company missed performance targets, unsuccessfully attempted to revive franchises, could not ship a competitive NBA basketball game (despite leading the other video game sport franchises), and he may be most remembered for the introduction of Project $10, which penalized buyers of used titles by forcing them to pay $10 for online access to the company’s games.

Not everything that Riccitiello did was a disaster. He grew the Battlefield franchise and believed in DICE to produce the Frostbite engine, which now is in use by other studios and which has stopped licensing fees to other engine providers. He also grew the FIFA franchise and acquired PopCap.

Riccitiello will depart on March 30, 2013, which is the end of EA’s 2013 fiscal year. Riccitiello commented that he wanted a clean departure so that the company could start its fiscal Q1 of 2014 with a clean slate. Larry Probst will manage the transition while EA looks for a new CEO to take the helm at EA. With Riccitiello’s departure it is difficult to know what is in store for EA; but the move was a long time coming and hopefully it will be the right decision long-term for the company.

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