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Shocking News: John Riccitiello steps down as CEO of EA [Confirmed: Fired]

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Right now, the only thing my mind has to contribute to this is "holy shit"

 

Things are going to get even more interesting in the games industry

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Edited by SuperLink

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It's been coming since SWTOR flopped. That was his big play and it didn't bring in the astronomical numbers that it needed to. After the SimCity and Dead Space 3 fiascos recently, it seems as good a time as any.

 

While I liked Riccitiello as a person this had to happen. Under his leadership EA has become one of the most hated companies in the gaming industry and completely tarnished the reputation of multiple studios that were once loved by the gaming community, like Bioware and DICE. There has been misstep after misstep and EA has completely lost control of its public image in the last few years, and while you can't pin all the blame on the CEO, he shares a significant portion of it.

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It is a shame that, more than likely, the guy is just being used as a scapegoat and this action the usher for major change and renewed company interest. We all know that the CEO doesn't control every bad practise that happens in a company, even if like Homem said, they are probably partially responsible.

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Someobody stop the VideoGame What the Fuck 2013 train! I want to get off!

 

Has a week gone by this year without a shockwave announcement or news story!? Aliens, PS4, SimCity, and now this, have I missed something? And it's only the middle of March!

 

They absolutely have to change direction now, Origin is a joke and their reputation is the lowest it's been for years, they've got to be more customer friendly than they have been... right?

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My initial reaction was "So, does this mean the end of EA's awful DRM and marketing practices?". Under his leadership the public image of the company was dragged through the mud, but then again, who knows if he was actually responsible for that? Maybe the new CEO will push the company to clean up their act, or maybe they'll just keep doing the same thing. We'll see where this goes, I guess...

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My initial question is whether or not this will mark the beginning of the end of shitty DRM, server-only debacles like Sim City, and awful marketing practices.

I'd wager it's more likely we'd see more from his replacement rather than less, but we can only hope things change for the better. 

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Forgive my complete ignorance of how a company's internal structure works, but how can the CEO be fired? Isn't he pretty much the top guy?

Shareholders can demand to have you kicked off if they think you're doing a shit job.

EDIT: Ninja'd

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.... Oh. So the board gives some semblance of a shit about their public image, or were the bungles that Dr. Homem named really that much of a blow to their ridiculous bottom line? The optimist in me wants to think that positive change is coming as a result of this.

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Confirmed: Pretty much got fired.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-03-18-john-riccitiello-out-at-ea

Dear Larry,

I hereby offer my resignation as CEO of Electronic Arts effective with the end of our Fiscal Year 13 on March 30, 2013.

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.

I have been at the helm as EA's CEO for six years and served as COO for nearly seven years starting in 1997. I know this company well, and I care deeply about its future success. I leave knowing EA is a great company, with an enormously talented group of leaders and the strongest slate of games in the industry. I could not be more proud of our company's games, from Battlefield and FIFA, to The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Real Racing 3. We have built many great franchises that will serve the company well in FY14 and beyond. In particular, I am confident that the investments we have made in games for next-generation consoles will put EA in a strong leadership position for many years ahead.

In offering my resignation, my goal is to allow the talented leaders at EA a clean start on FY14. I look forward to working with you in the coming weeks on an effective leadership transition. I'm extremely honored to have led this company and proud to have worked with all the great people at Electronic Arts.

Sincerely,

/s/ John Riccitiello

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I'm rather skeptical that this change has much to do with public image and not more to do with fiscal problems. 

 

Of course clearly this means someone at EA realizes that their business model needs some tweaks, so I guess we'll all see where it goes from here. 

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The fact that he was fired rather than stepped down didn't surprise me one bit; I know it was probably a bit presumptuous but I assumed that was the case from point one.

 

Because yeah.. EA desperately want their business model to change, their public face, their finances, it's all related. They needed a scapegoat, and this is what happened; the easiest person "to blame" is axed and their stocks will rise out of false hope.

 

Shit's bleak.

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Meh for them to fire the CEO isn't enough. EA is ruined forever. They need a new name, a new face, a new direction, a new sense of trust before I start crawling back to them again. And search and destroy Origin. Hardly anyone likes it. Go back to Steam and remove "You must have an Origin account" messages on your demos.

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To Everyone at EA –

I am writing with some tough news. I have resigned my position as EA’s CEO. I will be around for a couple of weeks, and I hope to have the chance to say goodbye to many of you. Larry Probst will be stepping in as Executive Chairman to help smooth the transition. Larry first hired me at EA in 1997 and he was an incredible leader for the company during the 16 years he served as CEO. While he will continue to be the Chairman of the US Olympic Committee, he will also provide leadership for EA until a permanent CEO is appointed.

My decision to leave EA is really all about my accountability for the shortcomings in our financial results this year. It currently looks like we will come in at the low end of, or slightly below, the financial guidance we issued to the Street, and we have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago. And for that, I am 100 percent accountable.

Personally, I think we’ve never been in a better position as a company. You have made enormous progress in improving product quality. You are now generating more revenue on fewer titles by making EA’s games better and bigger. You’ve navigated a rapidly transforming industry to create a digital business that is now approximately $1.5 billion and growing fast. The big investments you’ve made in creating EA’s own platform are now showing solid returns. I believe EA is alone in mastering the challenges of building a platform for our games and services – a platform that will provide a more direct relationship with our consumers. You are number one in the fastest growing segment, mobile, with incredible games like The Simpsons: Tapped Out, Real Racing 3, Bejeweled, SCRABBLE and Plants v. Zombies. You have worked to put EA in a position to capture industry leadership on the next generation of consoles; and I believe two of our titles – Battlefield and FIFA – will be among the top few franchises in the entire industry. And the industry’s most talented management team – Frank, Rajat, Peter, Gaby, Andrew, Patrick, Blake, Joel and Jeff — are certain to lead the company to a successful future.

I remain an incredible fan of EA and everyone who works in our world – from Stockholm to Seoul, Orlando to Edmonton, Guildford, Geneva, Cologne, Lyon, Bucharest, Montreal, Austin, Salt Lake, LA and, of course, EARS. My hope is that my travels and yours allow us the opportunity to talk more in the months and years to come.

In a few weeks, I will be leaving EA physically. But I will never leave emotionally. I am so incredibly proud of all the great things you have done, and it has been my honor to lead this team these past six years. After March, I will be cheering wildly for EA from the sidelines.

 

I keep seeing this a lot...

My decision to leave EA is really all about my accountability for the shortcomings in our financial results this year

 

How much money were EA looking to make in this financial year? I remember at one point their projections for Dead Space 3 were 5 million units sold or something stupid like that?

 

So the official line is 'he resigned' but the unofficial line is 'he resigned after the board told him to get out?'

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