Gaming giant EA has just announced that John Riccitiello will step down as CEO and as a member of the Board of Directors on March 30. Former CEO and newly-appointed Executive Chairman Larry Probst will assume Riccitiello's duties until a permanent replacement is found. EA says it will look at both internal and external candidates.
In Riccitiello's resignation letter to the board, he cited "accountability" as being one of the main reasons he was stepping down.
March 17, 2013
Mr. Larry Probst
Chairman Electronic Arts
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.
One cannot help but wonder if SimCity's massive and publicly-documented issues at launch were the catalyst for Riccitiello's departure. SimCity had "always-on" DRM, but servers couldn't cope with the sheer numbers of players at launch, leaving many players stranded and unable to play or even install their game. As a result, EA recently said that it will offer free games to players affected.
To read the resignation letter in its entirety, check out the source below.