Disappointing financial results prompted John Riccitiello to step down as EA's chief.
The well documented issue with EA's SimCity launch may not have directly led to John Riccitiello's decision to resign from his position as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the software publisher he's served for the past six years, but perhaps it hints at deeper problems, not the least of which is EA's view on Digital Rights Management. Since taking over as head of the company, EA's stock has fallen more than 60 percent.
Riccitiello's decision to leave comes down to EA's finances. Whether he was ousted or if this decision was his and his alone, his farewell letter to employees, posted in full on The Wall Street Journal, shows he's willing to take accountability for the company's performance over the past several years.
"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," Riccitiello wrote in his letter.
In nearly the same breath, Riccitiello told employees he believes EA has "never been in a better position as a company," noting that it's now "generating more revenue on fewer titles by making EA's games better and bigger." He valued EA's digital business at $1.5 billion, and said it's "growing fast."
Prior to his six-year stint as CEO, Riccitiello was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for EA, a position he held for nearly seven years starting in 1997.