Posted on March 20, 2013, Phil Hornshaw 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.