EA Sports Boss Andrew Wilson Named New CEO of EA
A company spokesperson confirmed Wilson’s new appointment to AllThingsD. EA’s former CEO, John Riccitiello, stepped down in March of this year, replaced in the interim by Larry Probst.
“Andrew’s appointment is a clear demonstration of the deep bench of management talent at EA, and reflects our fundamental belief that EA is on track to become the global leader in interactive games and services,” Probst wrote in a blog post on behalf of EA’s board.
Probst will continue to serve as EA’s executive chairman indefinitely until Wilson finishes the transition into his new role.
Wilson began leading EA Sports in August 2011 after 11 years with EA, according to the company’s website. Before assuming the mantle of the sports division, he oversaw online publishing in Asia and EA’s studio in Seoul, South Korea.
After peaking in the mid-2000s, shares of EA cratered, hovering below $20 through 2009 and 2010. After climbing above the $20 mark in 2011, they collapsed again in 2012 and have only begun to recover again this year, following Riccitiello’s departure.
Wilson’s mandate, then, is to beat the challenges his predecessor could not: Maintaining the large videogame studio’s competitiveness in an industry being disrupted from within and without. Increasingly powerful (and gaming-capable) smartphones and tablets continue to extend their market penetration, while two of EA’s biggest partners, Microsoft and Sony, will launch their next-generation home gaming consoles in November.
In his own blog post re-introducing himself, Wilson pledged to stay the course with EA’s current brand and platform strategy.
“We have made strong progress in the first half of the fiscal year, establishing financial discipline and continuing to create a slate of fantastic games for current and next-generation consoles, mobile and PC,” he wrote in the blog post. “But now we’ve got to finish the job — execute in Q3 and Q4 and deliver on the promises we made to our fans and our shareholders.”
As of 2:30pm PT, EA shares are half a percent down in after-hours trading.