Who Will Be Electronic Arts’ New CEO? Here Are Some Options

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello is leaving the company at the end of March, and that means one of the largest publishers in gaming is about to get a new leader.

According to its press release, EA is going to be considering both internal and external candidates to take over Riccitiello’s job, which he assumed again in 2007. Since then, EA has been fighting with a stock price that took a huge hit at the start of the Great Recession and has remained stable — but has never come close to recovering — in the five years since then.

A new CEO could potentially drive EA in a different direction in order to try to get stock prices climbing again, or he or she could double down on the policies Riccitiello implemented, some of which have been good for EA, some of which have not. Here’s a rundown of potential successors from within Electronic Arts, along with some information about what the company might look like under their leadership.

Peter Moore, Chief Operating Officer

According to an anonymous source close to Game Front, Peter Moore was rumored to be Riccitiello’s successor as CEO at Electronic Arts as far back as in July. The report that Riccitiello might be leaving seems to have taken some time to pan out (and perhaps was driven by additional factors, such as the struggles surrounding the launch of SimCity), but Moore still may be his top in-house replacement possibility.

Moore was promoted to COO in August 2011, and before that took over as head of the EA Sports label in 2007, when EA began to rework its brand structure under Riccitiello and pare back the number of games it created. Prior to joining EA, Moore worked for Microsoft, heading up the Xbox division and the Games for Windows division, and as COO of Sega of America before that. He has more than 25 years of experience working in video games.

Moore certainly has the pedigree to take over as head of Electronic Arts, and his track record with the company will likely be pleasing to investors. Back in 2007, he described the video game industry’s business practices as a “burning platform,” saying that console gaming was unsustainable in the form it was in at the time — mostly selling games that were singular experiences, perhaps refreshed yearly, packaged on discs. Moore is a big proponent of digital distribution and releasing additional content for games over time to keep them relevant and keep players playing, and more importantly, buying. He also has advocated for the mobile division and its use of different payment platforms, including micro-transactions.

It seems likely that a transition to Moore as head of EA would look a lot like the last few years have looked in terms of EA’s policies for DLC, digital distribution, Origin and online gaming, as he has vocally supported all of them in the past. Moore also has said that he sees gaming eventually making a bigger push toward free-to-play, with micro-transactions ultimately appearing in every game. He’s advocated for greater accessibility to players from the publisher and developers during his time leading EA Sports, and seems to see the future as a connected, digitally distributed, DLC-heavy landscape.

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13 Comments on Who Will Be Electronic Arts’ New CEO? Here Are Some Options

folklore

On March 20, 2013 at 7:00 pm

All the in house replacements so far look terrible. while I myself do not want a market dominated by f2p games that require micro transactions to even play the game. Nor do i want to be connected to everyone else. I generally play games to enjoy single player and not bother with the messy thing that is human interaction.

Foehunter82

On March 20, 2013 at 7:58 pm

They need new blood. It’s as simple as that. They need a complete outsider who has the experience and passion to make games. They need…….Kotick. :)

No, but seriously, I think they need a complete outsider, someone who has never actually worked for EA before but has experience not only with developing games, but also with actually playing games.

folklore

On March 20, 2013 at 8:10 pm

@foehunter
that would probably be the only way they could turn themselves around. As it stands I’m not filled with confidence by any of the options that seem apparent. I just hope they win the worst company in America award again. hopefully winning two years running might put some sense in them.

gasmaskangel

On March 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm

EA needs an outsider. Preferably someone who will muzzle Peter Moore any time he opens his mouth to say something stupid like “all game will have microtransactions”.

Axetwin

On March 21, 2013 at 4:32 am

Whoever wins…..we lose.

George Kennedy

On March 21, 2013 at 10:52 am

Other candidates include Alan B’Stard, Scrooge McDuck, Kevin Spacey’s character in Swimming With Sharks, and Jafar.

R.J.

On March 21, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I think EA would do itself a huge favor by hiring somebody from outside the company. As was noted, the internal candidates have been there for years and were there for the situations that likely led to Riccotelo leaving. It’s hard to believe anything would be fixed if people like that were hired. The public image of EA is the lowest of any major publisher, and gamers aren’t going to buy it if somebody like Peter Moore says that things will change when he was there for all the things people haven’t liked.

Matt Low

On March 21, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Gordon Ramsay.

Kevin

On March 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Will we get white smoke from the chimney at the EA conclave?

Roy Batty

On March 21, 2013 at 8:29 pm

@ Kevin

Yes; the white smoke will be the remains of unsold copies of ME3 and SimCity EULAs.

Foehunter82

On March 21, 2013 at 10:48 pm

@Matt Low: That would be an improvement.

@Roy Batty: That’s what I call a burning platform.

Zach

On March 23, 2013 at 12:14 am

Morgan Freeman. That is all.

SevenCell

On March 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm

@ GameFront You forgot Lucifer.