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EA CEO John Riccitiello steps down, effective March 30

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Electronic Arts' John Riccitiello is stepping down as Chief Executive Officer -- a position he served as since 2007 -- and will relinquish his position as member of the Board of Directors, effective March 30. Larry Probst, who previously served as the company's CEO from 1991 to 2007, has been appointed 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."

In a likely attempt to calm investors, EA noted, "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." 

Riccitiello, meanwhile, added, "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." 

EA expects that its revenue and earnings per share for the current quarter will be "at the low end" of previously issued guidance. The company is set to announce its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013 results on May 7, 2013. In recent months, EA has suffered numerous layoffs while reporting a decline in earnings.

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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