John Riccitiello Resigns As Electronic Arts CEO

John Riccitiello has resigned his position as both chief executive officer of Electronic Arts and as a member of the company’s board of directors, after almost six years heading up the video game publisher. Riccitiello’s final day with EA will be on March 30, 2013.

In a public statement EA’s board chairman, Larry Probst, explained that EA’s lower than expected financial performance is the reason behind Riccitiello’s resignation as CEO.

“Today John Riccitiello submitted his resignation to EA’s Board of Directors,” Probst announced. “In a letter to the Board, John outlined that while the company has made enormous progress in improving product quality and transitioning to digital games and services, our financial performance is tracking below the expectations set at the beginning of our fiscal year.”

“We thank John for his contributions to EA since he was appointed CEO in 2007,” Larry Probst added in the press release announcing Riccitiello’s resignation. “John has worked hard to lead the Company through challenging transitions in our industry, and was instrumental in driving our very significant growth in digital revenues. We appreciate John’s leadership and the many important strategic initiatives he has driven for the Company. We have mutually agreed that this is the right time for a leadership transition.”

John Riccitiello offered the following statement:

“EA is an outstanding company with creative and talented employees, and it has been an honor to serve as the Company’s CEO. I am proud of what we have accomplished together, and after six years I feel it is the right time for me pass the baton and let new leadership take the Company into its next phase of innovation and growth. I remain very optimistic about EA’s future — there is a world class team driving the Company’s transition to the next generation of game consoles.”

The board of directors has appointed Larry Probst, who served as EA’s CEO from 1991 to 2007, as executive chairman while they conduct an internal and external search for the company’s next CEO.

While nothing was stated in the press release, there is already speculation suggesting that COO Peter Moore could replace John Riccitiello as EA’s next CEO.