Electronic Arts has announced that Andrew Wilson, former head of EA Sports, is being tapped to to take over as the publisher’s CEO. Wilson replaces John Riccitiello, who departed the company back in March.
Wilson, who has been with the company since 2000, previously served as both an executive producer on the company’s FIFA franchise and as the executive vice president of the digital goods service Origin. During his tenure leading EA Sports, the company acquired the rights to produce UFC fighting games from the now defunct THQ.
In a statement on EA.com, Executive Chairman Larry Probst, who had been serving as the interim CEO following Riccitiello’s departure, praised Wilson, saying:
“I am convinced that Andrew was an inspired choice by our Board, and one I expect the team at EA will enthusiastically support. Andrew is the first studio executive to serve as our CEO, a testament to his blend of creative skills and business acumen. He is a compelling and charismatic communicator who cares deeply about organizational development, teams, and the individual careers of people who work for EA. Most of all, he has a powerful sense of respect for and commitment to our consumers.”
Wilson has no plans to rock the boat too hard though, as he is planning to continue the company’s transition into making more digital titles:
“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. But we have plenty of work ahead to ensure our collective success.”
With the impending releases of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, it was important that EA stabilized their internal management. Obviously the company isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but if they wanted to remain a major player during this next console generation, they needed to find a credible CEO.
With my limited knowledge of how a business is properly run, I think that Wilson is a solid choice by EA. He appears to be a good company man that has worked his way up. Why bother bringing in an outsider, when you have a perfectly good employee already working for you? That’s what I say. Well, that’s what I would say if I had any type of power in a large company like EA.