Riccitiello Returns to Lead EA (Updated)

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Electronic Arts has just announced that former EA president and COO John Riccitiello will return to the company as of April 2, 2007 to serve as its CEO and join its board of directors. Riccitiello previously co-founded Elevation Partners, a private investment firm with a controlling interest in developers BioWare and Pandemic Studios, which merged to form BioWare/Pandemic Studios. At Elevation, Riccitiello headed up the company's video game operations. Elevation also holds a minority interest in publisher Forbes.

"Leading EA has always been my dream job and I am truly honored that Larry and the Board have given me this opportunity," said Riccitiello in today's announcement. "This is an extremely well-run company driven by outstanding studio and publishing teams. They've also made strategic investments in new platforms and markets that will help extend EA's industry leadership in the years ahead."

Current CEO Larry Probst will continue on as executive chairmain of EA's board of directors. "We're happy to welcome John back as EA's new CEO," said Probst. "His skill and vision as an executive and his experience in our industry have earned him the respect of our employees and shareholders."

In response to the announcement, Elevation Partners issued the following statement:

"The employees and partners at Elevation and our extended family of portfolio companies congratulate John on his election by the EA board of directors to the position of chief executive officer. John is a hugely talented executive in the video game industry and he is the perfect person to lead EA during this period of dramatic change in the industry. We look forward to continuing to work with John and his team at EA."

It is unclear what interaction will exist between Elevation and EA in the wake of Riccitiello's transition. Shacknews has sent further inquiries to both EA and Elevation Partners on the matter.

Update: An Elevation Partners representative confirmed to Shacknews that there will be no formal relationship between Riccitiello and Elevation following Riccitiello's appointment as EA CEO. EA will, however, be publishing Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (PS2, PS3, X360, PC), developed by Elevation portfolio company Pandemic Studios.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 26, 2007 1:50 PM

    Does this mean Elevation has backed off game development? Has that Bono based FPS shooter disappeared from hope?

    • reply
      February 26, 2007 5:26 PM

      I think it's more Riccitiello following the dollar signs

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