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John Riccitiello Leaving EA

John Riccitiello is stepping down from his post as EA CEO effective March 30th, reports Polygon, saying he will be replaced on an interim day-to-day basis by Riccitiello's predecessor Larry Probst as they hunt for a permanent replacement. They have a copy of his resignation letter to the board, which suggests by its tone was requested. "This is a tough decision, but it all comes down to accountability," Riccitiello resignation letter reads. "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."

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49. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 19:56 NKD
 
KilrathiAce wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 19:25:
I hope he doesnt join some other publisher, dont need his stink ruin some good publisher now.

Seems doubtful. He could end up anywhere. CEOs usually work in a lot of industries since CEO is CEO regardless of what industry you're in. John was CEO of Wilson Sporting Goods and after that, Sara Lee pastries. So, CEOs get around.

But honestly I don't understand the pitchforks here. This isn't actually a good thing for us, unless we happen to be EA shareholders.

One thing people need to keep in mind is that John Riccitiello wasn't the problem at EA. EA is the problem at EA. It's a systemic, company-wide problem. At least as far as the stuff we care about goes. John was canned because they weren't making enough money.

But here's the thing: pleasing you and me isn't going to make them anymore money. In fact, if EA did what I want them to do, I can guarantee they'd make a lot less money.

You think when they can a CEO for not making enough money, that the next guy is gonna do anything except pander to the masses to make as much money as possible? Nope. Prepare for even more DLC and over-monetization.

I just think there's a distinct lack of understanding about what a CEO does here. John Riccitiello wasn't sitting there personally pruning content out of games to package as DLC. Some guy 2 or 3 levels down from him has the final say on that shit, and John probably never knew the specifics.

Riccitiello fucked up, but not in a way we should be concerned about. No CEO is going to make a damned bit of difference at EA in terms of what all of us here care about. In fact, the better the CEO, the better they will be at fucking us over.

This comment was edited on Mar 18, 2013, 20:04.
 
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48. Re: More Big Picture Details Mar 18, 2013, 19:28 ASeven
 
I think that if you're going to throw a theory, I would replace the launch and further debacle of SimCity with all the past years' events of terrible customer service. All the incidents EA has been part of the past years could have, collectively, sent the investors to decide to throw Riccitello away due to the terrible bad public image EA now has.

Though stock prices are still far more important for investors and all the quarterly calls EA did which I was a part of listening to it, everyone indeed focused on the stock prices before public image or anything else. Riccitello failed to make EA grow in revenue and profit while he was CEO and that is something investors don't forgive. I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did.
 
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47. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 19:25 KilrathiAce
 
I hope he doesnt join some other publisher, dont need his stink ruin some good publisher now.  
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46. Re: More Big Picture Details Mar 18, 2013, 19:20 HorrorScope
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 16:52:
This is not uncommon in corporate America or the rest of the world. The real question is, how large of a golden parachute is he going to get? I would assume it'll be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Whoever ultimately replaces him will be just as eager to 'monetize' everything EA makes at the expense of customers.

No the real question for us is with new leadership what is going to change for the customers? Him getting a bajillion is a given.
 
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45. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 19:10 DangerDog
 
ASeven wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 18:46:
Forbes throws the theory that Riccitello may have been pressured to quit due to the SimCity debacle.

Too far fetched for me, investors care about stock prices before botched releases, even one with the magnitude of SimCity. Riccitello pretty much threw EA's stock prices to the ground.

Doubtful, it's been a series of bad moves by EA though. I think the last hit game they released was Battlefield 3, in terms of sales but not profit.

There was also that incident last year where the barn doors of Origin were left wide open and people gobbled up the free games.

I'm not expecting anything to change much, EA games won't be showing back up on Steam for example. Microtransaction in games will persist. SimCity will still be tied to hamfisted DRM schemes.
 
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44. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 19:07 Total-Khaos
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 17:09:
Ok, he's getting 2 years salary as severance, plus "benefits." All in all not a huge parachute. He was making something like $5-$7 million per year, approximately, but the severance is just salary, so that's about $750,000 per year.

2 years salary, and $1.7MM, isn't enough to make me angry. I mean, it's not like I'm sitting here feeling extremely sorry for him, or thinking employees fighting tooth-and-nail for an extra half a percent raise should, but this isn't one of those deals where a guy is walking away with something ridiculous, especially relative to what he was earning.

His base salary, according to SEC filings dated 02/21/2007, was $750,000 plus a target bonus percentage of 100% of his annual salary. That means his total income per year, if EA met their targets, would be $1.5 million. That doesn't include stock options, etc.

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/712515/000119312507039826/d8k.htm
 
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43. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 18:52 NegaDeath
 
ASeven wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 18:46:
Too far fetched for me, investors care about stock prices before botched releases, even one with the magnitude of SimCity. Riccitello pretty much threw EA's stock prices to the ground.

Agreed. Looking at their financials since the crash its quite clear he's failed to turn the company around, that's reason enough to can him. At best the simtastrophe was the cherry on an already very large crap sundae.
 
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42. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 18:51 Quboid
 
ASeven wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 18:46:
Forbes throws the theory that Riccitello may have been pressured to quit due to the SimCity debacle.

Too far fetched for me, investors care about stock prices before botched releases, even one with the magnitude of SimCity. Riccitello pretty much threw EA's stock prices to the ground.

All that bad press will affect the stock price ... I'd have thought. Actually their stock price has risen quite a bit this year, which is a sad sight (although if you look at the 5 year view, it could hardly bomb any more). Perhaps it's yet to make it's mark; hopefully when SimCity's sales figures are released they will be well below expectations and the share price will then be hit.
 
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- Quboid
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41. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 18:48 Total-Khaos
 
<REMOVED>

This comment was edited on Mar 18, 2013, 19:03.
 
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40. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 18:46 ASeven
 
Forbes throws the theory that Riccitello may have been pressured to quit due to the SimCity debacle.

Too far fetched for me, investors care about stock prices before botched releases, even one with the magnitude of SimCity. Riccitello pretty much threw EA's stock prices to the ground.
 
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39. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 18:42 jdreyer
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 17:09:
Ok, he's getting 2 years salary as severance, plus "benefits." All in all not a huge parachute. He was making something like $5-$7 million per year, approximately, but the severance is just salary, so that's about $750,000 per year.

2 years salary, and $1.7MM, isn't enough to make me angry. I mean, it's not like I'm sitting here feeling extremely sorry for him, or thinking employees fighting tooth-and-nail for an extra half a percent raise should, but this isn't one of those deals where a guy is walking away with something ridiculous, especially relative to what he was earning.

While I agree it isn't a huge amount in the annals of CEO severance, I'm annoyed that CEOs get anything at all. I'm sure they don't extend the 2 years salary to every employee who steps down or gets fired. If there was anyone who DIDN'T need the extra money it would be someone who just spent the last several years making millions of dollars.
 
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38. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 18:30 ASeven
 
In completely unrelated news, Bioshock Inifinte just leaked for the PS3 and Xbox360.  
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37. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 18:28 Quboid
 
Minuit wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 17:23:
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 16:52:
The real question is, how large of a golden parachute is he going to get? I would assume it'll be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Not only that, he gets his choice of Battlefield 3, Bejeweled 3, Dead Space 3, Mass Effect 3, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Need for Speed Most Wanted, Plants vs. Zombies or SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition.



I bet he gets the GotY editions, with all the DLC.

Bastards.
 
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36. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 18:21 jdreyer
 
mch wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 16:34:
Seppuku?
Wow, this was my first thought on reading the headline. This has nothing to do with SimCity, I'm sure. Bigcry

Oh, to be a fly on the wall in HIS office over the past couple of weeks.
 
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35. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 18:15 Dev
 
I'm impressed that he took responsibility. Not impressed with anything else about EA.
ASeven wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 18:11:
Unfortunately I have no hope that the next guy to take his seat will change the policy of fucking the customers left and right and center.
More than likely, the next guy will push the envelope further, and claim that they didn't make money because they didn't exploit their customers enough.
Talisorn wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 18:11:
When's Bobby Kotick leaving?
Never. Remember he's a huge gamer who loves games!
Plus activision is making money last I checked.
 
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34. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 18:11 ASeven
 
Called this a long time ago. The falling stock prices finally took their toll.

Unfortunately I have no hope that the next guy to take his seat will change the policy of fucking the customers left and right and center.
 
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33. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 18:11 Talisorn
 
When's Bobby Kotick leaving?  
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32. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 18:05 PsychoMoggieBagpuss
 
Minuit wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 17:23:
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 16:52:
The real question is, how large of a golden parachute is he going to get? I would assume it'll be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Not only that, he gets his choice of Battlefield 3, Bejeweled 3, Dead Space 3, Mass Effect 3, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Need for Speed Most Wanted, Plants vs. Zombies or SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition.

All my 5's.
 
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31. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 17:55 Techie714
 
Minuit wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 17:23:
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 16:52:
The real question is, how large of a golden parachute is he going to get? I would assume it'll be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Not only that, he gets his choice of Battlefield 3, Bejeweled 3, Dead Space 3, Mass Effect 3, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Need for Speed Most Wanted, Plants vs. Zombies or SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition.

LMAO!! You win the Internet for the day!
 
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30. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 17:52 Techie714
 
I guess Hell was offering more money....  
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