Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Electronic Arts CEO steps down, takes blame for missed targets

By Malathi Nayak

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Electronic Arts' Chief Executive Officer John Riccitiello has resigned, saying he was "accountable" for the company missing its operational targets.

The company warned investors that earnings in the current quarter will be at the low end of or slightly below its previously issued forecast after the announcement.

In January, the company had said it expected non-GAAP revenue for its fourth quarter ending March 31 to be about $1.025 billion to $1.125 billion. It also forecast non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of 57 cents to 72 cents.

Riccitiello will step down from his post as CEO and member of the board of directors on March 30, the video game company said on Monday.

"We have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago," Riccitiello said in a letter filed to the Securities Exchange Commission. "EA's shareholders and employees expect better and I am accountable for the miss."

EA's former CEO and chairman of the board, Larry Probst, has been appointed as executive chairman as the company begins its search for its next CEO, the company said.

Electronic Arts' stock climbed 3.1 percent to $19.29 in after-hours trade, from a close of $18.71 on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting By Malathi Nayak; Editing by Bernard Orr)


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