EA CEO John Riccitiello resigns

Electronic Arts Chief Executive John Riccitiello will resign on March 30th

Electronic Arts Chief Executive John Riccitiello is set to resign on March 30th, according to the publisher

EA boss John Riccitiello is set to step down as CEO of the video games publisher, Electronic Arts has announced in a statement. The circumstances surrounding his departure have not yet been made clear, although EA said the agreement leading to his exit was 'mutual'.

"EA is an outstanding company with creative and talented employees, and it has been an honour to serve as the Company's CEO," Riccitiello said in a statement. "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."

"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," he said.

There's no word yet on who will replace Riccitiello as CEO on a permanent basis, although Larry Probst will step into his position in the short term.Industry analysts say that Peter Moore, the former EA Sports boss, is the most likely candidate to take Riccitiello's spot in the long term.

Moore also took to Facebook earlier today to defend Riccitiello's track record as CEO, saying his exit at EA was a "sad day for the industry" and calling out gaming website Kotaku over an article it ran called 'The Best John Riccitello Jokes Twitter Had To Offer'.

"Kotaku reveling in what, due to their self-smugness, they don't realize is a sad day for our industry, which is the platform on which they actually make money," said Moore. "John not only helped propel our company and interactive entertainment into new experiences, thus enticing millions of new people to become 'gamers', his work leading the ESA in recent years has helped ensure that we don't experience the fate of the music industry,"

"Sad loss for all of us who had the pleasure of working with him as we emerged from The Burning Platform," he said.

In spite of Moore's praise, it's worth noting that EA's stock price jumped 2.6 per cent following the news of Riccitiello's resignation. The share price had fallen off prior due to the poor performance of Medal Of Honor: Warfighter and the disasterous recent launch of SimCity.