After about six years of questionable decision-making, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello is resigning from his position as well as the Board of Directors.
The news became official on the EA site where the decision was stated as being a mutual one. Riccitiello made the following statement in his resignation letter.
“This is a tough decision, but it all comes down to accountability. The progress EA has made on transitioning to digital games and services is something I’m extremely proud of. However, it currently looks like we will come in at the low end of, or slightly below, the financial guidance we issued in January, and we have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago. EA’s shareholders and employees expect better and I am accountable for the miss.”
Serving as President and COO from 1997 to 2004, Riccitiello left EA to become co-founder of a private equity firm. He was then re-hired by EA in 2007 to serve as CEO until today. In his stead, the Board announced that Executive Chairman Larry Probst will fulfill duties until a more permanent replacement is found.
To be honest, I had good feelings about John leading EA years back. He seemed to have a keen business sense coupled with respect for the gaming industry. Unfortunately, the latter didn’t prove to hold true. The “silver fox” has been pegged as a villain by a majority of gamers for overseeing a company that’s been responsible for the acquisition and subsequent closure of a number of studios including Bullfrog, Origin, and Westwood. Many gamers also hold the company responsible for the degraded quality in acquired franchises such as Mass Effect and Dead Space. The cherry on top of the shit sundae, however, was winning the Consumerist “Worst Company in America” award in 2012.
To be fair, Riccitiello has owned up for his past mistakes. Despite this fact, it seems to have hit a breaking point both for him and the company.
Do you feel that a change was needed? Does this even change your perception of EA? Let us know in the comments below!