Executive Shakeup at Electronic Arts
Earlier this year, Electronic Arts’ CEO John Riccitiello resigned from the company, leaving something of a power vacuum at the top of the company. Last week, however, Andrew Wilson moved from running EA Sports to the months-vacant CEO job. Today, as reported by Polygon, Wilson has shuffled the executives around into a new configuration.
The post says that Patrick Söderlund—who has been the executive VP of EA Games—is now also taking over Wilson’s former role at EA Sports. Meanwhile, EA Labels’ president Frank Gibeau has been moved to the top spot in both EA mobile and Origin. The post notes that it’s unclear as to whether Gibeau will remain as EA Labels’ head.
Wilson addresses EA’s employees in a memo obtained by Polygon, quoted here:
“These are exciting times for all of us here at EA. Games like FIFA 14, launching this week around the world, are at the very pinnacle of quality for the current-gen consoles and an example of what great can look like across platforms, business models and geographies. We have more amazing games launching over the coming months, including our robust slate of titles for the next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft. Meanwhile, Mobile continues its amazing trajectory, and we’re exploring new opportunities in digital gaming every day.”
So what does this all mean? It’s not too clear just yet, but the fact that EA Mobile and Origin will be handled by one person—Gibeau—has got to mean something. There’s no question that mobile devices are getting more and more powerful, and every content-creation company is out to get its goods into people’s pockets. And, to my knowledge, EA’s mobile games already require Origin sign-ins. Is there going to be a deeper or more meaningful integration between the two divisions?
We’ll have to wait and see what changes, if any, EA undergoes with this new structure in place. I’d hesitate to say I noticed any kind of change at all after Riccitiello’s resignation, so I have to wonder what effect all this actually has on gamers in the end. I suppose it’s the kind of thing we won’t know until years afterward. Stay tuned.