Larry Probst Steps Down From His Role as EA's Executive Chairman

Larry Probst Steps Down From His Role as EA's Executive Chairman

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Long standing EA bigwig Larry Probst has stepped down from his position, but will remain on the company's board of directors.

If you've been following EA's corporate structure, you'll know that Larry Probst and John Riccitello have been playing a kind of "CEO tag" for the last few years, passing leadership back and forth between them. Now, Probst has finally put an end to it, and has stepped down from his position as the company's executive chairman and allowed third party Andrew Wilson to complete his transition to CEO.

"Larry Probst became an employee of EA again when he stepped in as interim CEO in March 2013," an EA representative told Polygon. "He remained in an employee capacity following Andrew Wilson's appointment as CEO in September 2013 to assist with the CEO transition. He is stepping down as an employee of EA effective January 1, 2015. He remains the chairman of our board and there are no plans for Mr. Probst to step down as Board chairman."

When Wilson was announced as EA's new CEO earlier in the year, Probst stated that he would support Wilson in his transition to CEO, continuing to serve as EA's executive chairman for an "indefinite period."

When John Riccitiello stepped down as president and chief operating officer in 2004, Probst assumed his duties. In 2007, Probst re-hired Riccitiello as CEO. Last year, when Riccitiello stepped down again, Probst once more took on the day-to-day leadership role of the company as executive chairman while looking for his replacement.

Source: Polygon

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............

Seems liked EA goes through staff like most people go through Kleenex.

IceStar100:
............

Seems liked EA goes through staff like most people go through Kleenex.

More like they're getting rid of worn out reusable diapers, in this case.

OT: Is this the end of the corporate hopscotch for a few years, or will the new CEO be their PR scapegoat if they can't turn around some of EA's negative press?

He never did live down hiring Anita Sarkeesian. >.>

Hairless Mammoth:
OT: Is this the end of the corporate hopscotch for a few years, or will the new CEO be their PR scapegoat if they can't turn around some of EA's negative press?

The hopscotch will end if the new guy stays for awhile.

The problem with EA's negative press is that people both the people playing their games and the people writing the articles at times want to "show everyone" how horrible EA is while ignoring the changes the company has been making with their new interim CEO. Even if there are articles about what EA is doing people will always look for the negative spin as well such as the recent MOBA cancellation when they announced that anyone that spent money on it would get a full refund. I saw many responses with "only EA would try and make money off a beta" or easily just dismissing Origin because its "EA spyware".

Sanunes:

The hopscotch will end if the new guy stays for awhile.

The problem with EA's negative press is that people both the people playing their games and the people writing the articles at times want to "show everyone" how horrible EA is while ignoring the changes the company has been making with their new interim CEO. Even if there are articles about what EA is doing people will always look for the negative spin as well such as the recent MOBA cancellation when they announced that anyone that spent money on it would get a full refund. I saw many responses with "only EA would try and make money off a beta" or easily just dismissing Origin because its "EA spyware".

Yeah, they've been doing a lot better, and never should have won those "Worst Company in America" awards. (Placed, maybe. Winning against banks that caused (and knowingly continue to cause) massive economic problems for hard working innocent people while feeling little consequence, no.)

It's just hard for a group to shake a bad reputation, even if its main leaders or most or all of its members have been replaced. Ubisoft is offering a nice distraction, though. Maybe the good from EA and other's blunders can get the critics, both the professional and armchair varieties, to stop riding the same sensationalist phenomenon the plagues mainstream news.

I just hope for Wilson's sake he really can get the company to stop making the same mistakes (always online single player, unfinished releases, overestimating piracy while provoking it with the previous two, etc) Ubi, Activision and themselves having been making for the last few years. Though, it will be be hard if his board and the shareholders act as backseat drivers steering themselves into the same trees they hit before.

Captcha: karma points
I swear that thing is sentient and watching us.

Werll... I don't know if it's just Ubisoft stealing the show this year or EA is actually going up for once (not that there was much down left to go for them), but if things keep going this way I might actually consider maybe thinking about buying their games again.

Hairless Mammoth:

Captcha: karma points
I swear that thing is sentient and watching us.

Captcha: reach higher.

Ok, I'm worried now.

VladG:
Werll... I don't know if it's just Ubisoft stealing the show this year or EA is actually going up for once (not that there was much down left to go for them), but if things keep going this way I might actually consider maybe thinking about buying their games again.

Personally, they would have to make a game I actually want to play. They seem to be releasing the same old sequels right at this moment.

...And plan to keep doing so? No thanks.

Edit: digging for a captcha with this edit... but it seems to be cleverer than that.

Zachary Amaranth:
He never did live down hiring Anita Sarkeesian. >.>

Pretty sure that was just a rumor, though that petition that went around did get her sacked from a job she never had.

OT: Just how much sway does the CEO have over their game design choices? Is their word god or does he just sit and tell everyone "WE NEED MOAR GOLD!" like some kinda orc?

Hairless Mammoth:
Yeah, they've been doing a lot better, and never should have won those "Worst Company in America" awards. (Placed, maybe. Winning against banks that caused (and knowingly continue to cause) massive economic problems for hard working innocent people while feeling little consequence, no.)

It basically comes down to the old aphorism "One death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic". Everyone is kind of aware that banks have caused problems, but they're fairly vague, general problems involving thousands of unknown people working in hundreds of companies in many different countries. People complain about "the banks", but there isn't really a specific target for people to get annoyed at. EA's problems, on the other hand, generally target individual people specifically. You buy a new game, it sucks because it was rushed out and had multiplayer forcibly inserted for no reason. Whose fault is it? EA. Rather than some kind of general bad feeling about "the economy" and "the banks", you have a specific product with a specific problem and a specific company that is responsible. The actual harm may not be as much, but people will complain much more about an easily identified problem with a clear villain than they will about some abstract statistic.

Diablo1099:
OT: Just how much sway does the CEO have over their game design choices? Is their word god or does he just sit and tell everyone "WE NEED MOAR GOLD!" like some kinda orc?

It will depend on the company, but generally a bit of both. The CEO won't be wandering the office peering over people's shoulders and telling them exactly what to do, but if the CEO says something like "all our games must have multiplayer no matter what" or something along those lines, then that's what will happen.

Call me a cynic but I'm seeing cost cuts or higher prices in the future.
People rarely let go of power and money willingly, and them bringing in another person as CEO while still sitting on the boards themselves means less money going around.
The CEO before those two, are they also still on the board?

Meh, time to stop typing this post. My obvious anti-capitalistic thoughts are too obvious.
(I'm only half-joking btw.)

Kahani:

Diablo1099:
OT: Just how much sway does the CEO have over their game design choices? Is their word god or does he just sit and tell everyone "WE NEED MOAR GOLD!" like some kinda orc?

It will depend on the company, but generally a bit of both. The CEO won't be wandering the office peering over people's shoulders and telling them exactly what to do, but if the CEO says something like "all our games must have multiplayer no matter what" or something along those lines, then that's what will happen.

Some companies, when they get a strong CEO that knows the business and wants to take it in a certain direction. After years of bad publicity and falling revenues the board will play it safe I would speculate, bring in a superb administrator who can trim down costs instead (THQs collapse has shareholders of big publishers nervous still). The kind that will want loads of market research and focus testing of who they think their customers are (not necessarily who they actually are, or those that suit our particular needs and wants either) and take them in that direction.

Diablo1099:

Pretty sure that was just a rumor, though that petition that went around did get her sacked from a job she never had.

That's why I threw in the >.> icon.

Zachary Amaranth:

Diablo1099:

Pretty sure that was just a rumor, though that petition that went around did get her sacked from a job she never had.

That's why I threw in the >.> icon.

Oh, DERP! Sorry, I'm more used to Kappa for that these days image

One of the Facebook comments reads "Please give up on Origin", repeated a few times...

Yeah, no. The very nature of the medium ensures that every other big publisher will feel more than justified to keep pushing its own brand of digital distribution. We'd all like it if everyone else went and gave Valve the reins of that segment of the industry - but that would put Valve on top of a monopoly. Nobody involved in legal and financial matters wants that, even if we gamers probably would.

Every EA CEO; "I played a game once. It was alright. I therefore know what gamers want."

 

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