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EA CEO John Riccitiello leaves company

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello will leave his position after six years as company head. His temporary successor elaborated on the transition in a blog post.

Larry Probst will assume the duties of Executive Chairman while the company seeks candidates for the CEO position. Probst is EA's Chairman of the Board, and he served as its CEO for 16 years--more than half of its history--from 1991 to 2007.

Riccitiello took over leadership of the publisher in 2007. He and Probst "mutually agreed" now is the best time to bring in new candidates, after the company's financial performance failed to meet yearly expectations.

"EA is an outstanding company with creative and talented employees, and it has been an honor to serve as the company's CEO," Riccitiello said in a release. "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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20 comments

  • mucusmembrane - March 19, 2013 4:36 p.m.

    i fel bad for this man, he seem like a desent guy really. all he want to do was make loud games and live fast die young. i hope they find another as replace good as him
  • KA87 - March 19, 2013 6:14 a.m.

    The day a broke Simcity was released an axe of justice fell from the sky. They said that if you listened closely that you could hear it falling towards its victim. And today it fell on that poor soul.
  • Exiousa - March 19, 2013 2:10 a.m.

    Hopefully whoever is in charge next comes to some agreement with Steam, I've not bought any of their titles on Origin at all. Just easier to keep content on one platform rather than several! I will take a wild guess and I am not alone in the Origin boycott. I went to a friend's to play ME3, but when trying multi-player good lord that was awful to connect with! I would have thought a company so large and focused on sales would have stopped their petty squabbles and released their triple A titles on as many distributors as possible! No hindsight or planning forecasting from them as far as I can tell, just greed!
  • lordgodalming - March 19, 2013 2:30 a.m.

    I've been on Steam since Half-Life 2 came out almost nine years ago. Then I accidentally signed up for Origin when I played Mass Effect 2 on PS3. I didn't even know what Origin was at the time, lol.
  • Exiousa - March 20, 2013 4:52 a.m.

    Ah did not know ME2 required Origin, as I have that on steam. I bought the game before as collector's, but bought it a second time again when it released on steam! So far I have zero "Origin" required games at all. I guess Origin was pretty flawless on the console? I know on the PC with ME3 it was god awful at the time my friend wanted to show me the multi player. The things we sign up for most of us glaze over ^_^ Steam was pretty horrid when it first came out, but that was mostly due to the bombardment of everyone trying to get on to register HL2 with steam! Now it is my preferred choice of vendor, purely for being in one place!
  • Jacko415 - March 19, 2013 12:40 a.m.

    Pride in your work goes a long way, EA. Please acknowledge that, and stop raping your games.
  • julian-watkins - March 18, 2013 8:21 p.m.

    EA is a company. Companies make money for shareholders and investors, and by way of functioning, employees. They make that money off of consumers. Consumers choose whether or not to buy the products theses companies distribute. These companies owe said consumers nothing more than the guarantee that whatever product they are selling does whatever it is that it's being sold to do. To hold these people to some sort of idealistic ethical standard, or artistic expectation is only going to be an exercise in futility. You complain when they make a business decision based on the bottom line of profit growth, something necessary to allow them to publish games, most of the time games that many of us enjoy. The man did his job, perhaps to the chagrin of some consumers, as is to be expected, we all don't like vanilla ice cream as it were. But on the flip side all of those people that enjoy the annual Fifas and Maddens were, I'm sure genuinely satisfied, So in that regard he served those consumers much to their satisfaction. To attack the man personally for doing his job simply because it wasn't what some of us would consider a job well done is pointless, petty, and petulant. I don't play Mass Effect, a lot of you do. I don't think they are evil for distributing the game just because it isn't my cup of tea, any more than you are for buying or playing the game. In fact, as I recall not only was I not forced to buy it, I wasn't adversely affected for it's existence. EA, like every other publisher is out to take as much of your money as possible. Some companies do this with a more consumer friendly business model than others, but that doesn't make either any more or less evil. It's childish arguments like these that paint gamers as immature and feckless. Trashing this guy does nothing to positively voice your concerns regarding how you'd prefer to negotiate the terms of your relationship as their consumer, nor what you expect from them as a publisher of products you purchase and I'm sure more often than not enjoy. After all, why else would you buy them if not for your enjoyment? Bash him, and/or me all you'd like, but the soylent will still continue to be people.
  • dkao12 - March 20, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    EA has their fair share of bad moments but the company I believe that uses the bottom line of making a profit is Capcom. But I completely agree with a lot of your arguments, it's just that we have a huge expectation of every game especially ones that has a lot of potential. All in all, I'm satisfied with EA's games, just satisfied and that's good enough for me. Now for Capcom >> that's another story to tell...
  • ParagonT - March 26, 2013 7:13 a.m.

    When I'm back from my classes and apartment registration, I'll respond to you again.
  • ParagonT - March 26, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    "EA is a company. Companies make money for shareholders and investors, and by way of functioning, employees. They make that money off of consumers. Consumers choose whether or not to buy the products theses companies distribute." This is true, but what happens if you are not apart of the ones supporting their bad practices? "To hold these people to some sort of idealistic ethical standard, or artistic expectation is only going to be an exercise in futility. You complain when they make a business decision based on the bottom line of profit growth, something necessary to allow them to publish games, most of the time games that many of us enjoy." Its called being a consumer. Our job is not to worry about how their profits are coming along, but to how their product is serving us. It's what balances out their concerns on their profit margins. Besides just because they have a bottom line to attend to doesn't make it better for us consumers if they publish more games if we do not approve of certain features they add or don't add. Also, you can hold anyone to an ethical standard if you want. It's up to each person what they will. Would I support a business, who obviously wan't to take advantage of me as a consumer and sell me a product that I do not believe is worth the amount paid? No. It's not illegal, but ethically I am inclined to have my opinion on the matter. It's what keeps us from kissing the corporate shoe if I may. Others have their opinion on it that may differ, but its not wrong to take a different stance. "The man did his job, perhaps to the chagrin of some consumers, as is to be expected, we all don't like vanilla ice cream as it were. But on the flip side all of those people that enjoy the annual Fifas and Maddens were, I'm sure genuinely satisfied, So in that regard he served those consumers much to their satisfaction." This is proof to show that there is a flip side to most things. So It strains me to see how you say differently in the upcoming sentences. "To attack the man personally for doing his job simply because it wasn't what some of us would consider a job well done is pointless, petty, and petulant. I don't play Mass Effect, a lot of you do. I don't think they are evil for distributing the game just because it isn't my cup of tea, any more than you are for buying or playing the game.' To say that it's not right to "attack" someone personally, is also what I think is incorrect as well. But to attack them based on their failure of a certain position is perfectly rational to me. They must be responsible and held to their position. Responsibility must be placed somewhere when an area falters. To call it petty and petulant is why you would never be placed in a high position, because that company would fail because you would be afraid of letting employees go who's decisions are harming your business. "Some companies do this with a more consumer friendly business model than others, but that doesn't make either any more or less evil." I don't really believe in "evil", I believe in those with opposite common interests. Those who use a more consumer friendly approach have more common interests than the others. Thus they will get my money personally. "It's childish arguments like these that paint gamers as immature and feckless." If they are attacking the man personally outside of his position, then I would agree. If they are basing their disliking on his now vacant position, then I think you are mistaken. Whether people are mistaken on what truly happened does not detract from the idea that consumers can say what they will if they are unhappy with how things have been going. "Trashing this guy does nothing to positively voice your concerns regarding how you'd prefer to negotiate the terms of your relationship as their consumer, nor what you expect from them as a publisher of products you purchase and I'm sure more often than not enjoy. After all, why else would you buy them if not for your enjoyment? Bash him, and/or me all you'd like, but the soylent will still continue to be people." Trashing the guy is still a voice and still perpetuates consumers thoughts on the matter to those involved or not. Every word people mutter in these social forms carry a weight. Just because certain posts are not always positive still gives you no accreditation to downplay their role. It's cool if you disagree with people not liking him or the company, that's fine. But try not to take the pedestal then tell others how their voice on the matter is just wrong, not by your personal taste, but by inference "the law of the land.'.
  • PlainLikeVanilla - March 18, 2013 5:08 p.m.

    Glad to see the silver fox finally stepping down.
  • winner2 - March 18, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    Hmm, I wonder what will happen to EA now. I hope something changes and EA does a complete reversal, as unlikely as that is.
  • CUFCfan616 - March 18, 2013 2:58 p.m.

    has it really taken gamers this long to finally stop buying updates of madden and fifa each year to stop piling cash into EA's pockets? His strategy seems to've been to find a successful ip and then sequel the hell out of it including mobile games and overpriced dlc. You can also lay the travesty that is Origin at his feet.
  • TheCakeIsaPie - March 18, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    That PR-ridden quote made my stomach turn. He's proud of what they accomplished....outstanding company... innovation... No, Satan? What are you doing here? I didn't mean to summon you! I was just repeating what heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-----!!!!!
  • BladedFalcon - March 18, 2013 2:30 p.m.

    Not sure if he was in any way responsible for EA's brief surge of actual creativity circa 2008, if he was, big kudos for that, but either way, the company has gone to shit, hard, in the last few years. Somehow, i don't think a new chairman will make the company be less of a greedy cash-grabber, but one could hope, I guess.
  • FoxdenRacing - March 19, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    Depends on how long the dev cycle on them was. Probably the last gasps of his predecessor, though.
  • MD-Stranger - March 18, 2013 2:10 p.m.

    It'll be interesting to see if his successor is any better
  • BladedFalcon - March 18, 2013 2:33 p.m.

    ...Ray, is that you? If you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, then you're obviously not him, so feel free to ignore this post XD
  • MD-Stranger - March 19, 2013 12:34 a.m.

    Eeeeeeyup, I was going to Private Message you so as to not clog up the comments, but the PM system is....kinda...completely broken
  • BladedFalcon - March 19, 2013 6:43 a.m.

    Hahaha XD Well, I personally haven't had problems using it, but yeah, not the friendliest system there is. Anyway, nice to see you around considering that as far as I know, the other forum remains completely dead. I was gonna brag that I figured out it was you... but considering your name, your avatar, and the topics you've chosen to engage into, I feel ashamed I didn't guess sooner :P

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