John Riccitiello’s reign as CEO of Electronic Arts will come to an end on 30 March. EA has announced that Riccitiello will leave his position as CEO and his position on EA’s Board of Directors on that date.
In the interim period while the company searches for a new, long-term CEO, EA’s Larry Probst will serve as executive chairman. EA’s statement to its investors says that both internal and external candidates will be considered for the job.
Riccitiello presided over several years in which EA lost substantial amounts of money. Across the last five years, the company reported net losses of $454 million (2008,) $1.09 billion (2009,) $677 million (2010,) and $276 million (2011.) 2012 showed small signs of improvement with a net profit of $76 million.
In 2012 EA topped a Consumerist poll to find the ‘Worst Company in America,’ beating away stiff competition from every single bank and financial institution in existence.
“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,” Mr Riccitiello is quoted as saying.
In a letter to EA’s employees (rather than investors,) Riccitiello takes a slightly different tone, saying: “My decision to leave EA is really all about my accountability for the shortcomings in our financial results this year … And for that, I am 100 percent accountable.”