EA Sports chief Andrew Wilson is Electronic Arts’ new CEO
The 39-year-old Australia native replaces John Riccitiello, who abruptly agreed to step down in March due to shortcomings in the companys financial performance. Since Riccitiellos departure, EAs stock has risen 45%. EA has been playing catch-up to online and social gaming, buying Zynga ( ZNGA ) rival Playfish in 2009. It also released its own titles like SimCity Social, but those offerings failed to gain traction. About 100 employees ultimately left the company for Zynga. The video game maker also struggled with the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic, an online game, and its SimCity urban planning game. In a company blog post, Wilson said EAs strategy is sound and the company has made strong progress in the first half of its fiscal year. Our focus on our talent, our brands and our platform together with our investment in next-generation consoles, mobile and PC free-to-play, as part of our ongoing transition to digital, is right, he said.
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Wilson fills a vacancy created when former EA chief John Riccitiello stepped down from that role in March. In the interim, another former EA chief, Larry Probst, stepped in as executive chairman. Probst was already the acting chairman of EAs board of directors. He simultaneously served as the chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee. On behalf of EAs board of directors, I am very pleased to announce that we have chosen Andrew Wilson to serve as the next chief executive officer of Electronic Arts, Probst wrote in a blog on EAs website . The rigorous search conducted by our board included several talented executives from both outside the company and from within EA.
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