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March 18, 2013

Electronic Arts’ CEO steps down over expected poor earnings

The company has started its hunt for a permanent replacement

By CBR Staff Writer

Electronic Arts (EA) CEO John Riccitiello will step down by the end of March 2013 after holding the position for six-years.

Riccitiello took over from Larry Probst as chief, while Probst, the current executive chairman, will assume management while the board hunts for a permanent replacement.

Probst said there had been a mutual agreement that the time was right for a change in leadership.

"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," Probst said.

Shares of EA have lost 65% of their value since Riccitiello assumed charge in February 2007, and the firm has also lost its crown as the leading video game publisher following Activision’s merge with the games unit of Vivendi.

Riccitiello said the firm had fallen short on internal targets that were set a year ago and the current quarter revenues and earnings were anticipated to be at the low end of guidance as mentioned in January or a little below.

"This is a tough decision, but it all comes down to accountability … EA’s shareholders and employees expect better and I am accountable for the miss," Riccitiello said.

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