GamesBeat

EA memo outlines top executive changes

Above: New CEO Andrew Wilson

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi/GamesBeat

New Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson has made his first management changes for the massive video game publisher since he was named top boss last week.

The changes are outlined in a memo that EA just distributed to employees. The memo was shared with GamesBeat via a source who asked for anonymity. Some of those details leaked out earlier today, but not all of them. The memo leaves some questions unanswered for now. The memo does not point out what title any particular executive has, but it does describe what their responsibilities will be. They will effectively all report directly to Wilson, which suggests, but does not explicitly spell out, that the chief operating officer role no longer exists. So far, we know of no major executive departures.

Patrick Söderlund, currently the executive vice president of the EA Games development studios, will continue in that role and also add Wilson’s old title as head of EA Sports. Meanwhile, Frank Gibeau, the president of the EA Games Label (EA Games, EA Sports, Maxis, and BioWare) will now run EA’s mobile division. The memo does not say whether Gibeau will continue to lead the EA Games Label.

Peter Moore will continue to lead Global Publishing and Marketing organizations as well as EA’s Worldwide Customer Experience and Global Media Solutions teams. But the memo does not say if Moore is still chief operating officer.

Lucy Bradshaw will continue as head of Maxis, the maker of The Sims and SimCity games, but she will now report directly to Wilson. Rajat Taneja continues to run the technology platform, Blake Jorgensen leads finance, and Gabrielle Toledano leads human resources.

The announcement was made during a company-wide “town hall” meeting today and detailed in the memo below.

The choice of Wilson as CEO (replacing John Riccitiello, who left the big game publisher in March) was a surprise to many. He leaped ahead of candidates such as Gibeau, who has been at the company for more than two decades, and Moore, who was previously the No. 2 executive. Both Gibeau and Moore may have been too closely identified with the leadership of Riccitiello, who resigned after the company missed expectations. They both appear to be staying on board, for now.

Here’s the memo below:

Thanks to everyone that logged in from across the world to join today’s Global Town Hall. As I reiterated earlier, I could not be more honored to be in this role and I am incredibly optimistic about the great work we will be able to do together in the future.

Our priorities right now are simple – we must deliver on our FY14 plan, continue the transformation of our organization for our digital future, create amazing games and services, have a ruthless focus and execute.

I will work closely with my senior management team to help drive these priorities through the organization. Each of these leaders will report directly to me in their roles:

· Patrick Söderlund will continue to lead the EA Games development studios, and will now also take on the leadership of EA SPORTS. Patrick’s passion for games and commitment to quality is unfaltering. This is a very important role for EA and represents a significant portion of our investment in creating amazing games and services.

· Frank Gibeau will lead the business in our biggest growth area and the fastest growing segment in games – Mobile. Mobile is a major priority for EA, and we need focus to achieve continued success. Having a leader with Frank’s passion and expertise in this position is a huge win for us.

· Peter Moore continues to lead our Global Publishing and Marketing organizations, as well as EA’s Worldwide Customer Experience and Global Media Solutions teams. Peter’s unparalleled ability to rally a team around a constantly evolving future is what enables us to consistently deliver amazing games to players worldwide.

· Our gamer base is evolving and diversifying, and how we evolve our games to match will be a major factor in our future success. Having spent much of her career building games and services for a broader player base, Lucy Bradshaw joins my management team as the head of Maxis studios while leading the charge to expand the reach of our games with new experiences.

· Rajat Taneja has proven himself to be a powerful change agent in his two years at EA, and his focus will continue to be developing our platform to efficiently support our game experiences, aggregate and manage our customer data, and learn from the interactions to build even better content and services.

· Blake Jorgensen continues to lead the Finance organization at EA. Blake has quickly forged a vital partnership between our finance team and the rest of the organization. He and his team will ensure we are taking the right steps to deliver profitable growth to our shareholders.

· As our head of Legal and Business Affairs and a long-time leader inside this organization, Joel Linzner continues to play a critical role for EA in all aspects of our business and key partnerships.

· Gabrielle Toledano continues to lead us in identifying, engaging and developing world-class talent as the head of Human Resources and Facilities at EA. I’ll look to Gaby to play a big role in the ongoing transformation of our organization to truly operate as one EA team.

These are exciting times for all of us here at EA. Games like FIFA 14, launching this week around the world, are at the very pinnacle of quality for the current-gen consoles and an example of what great can look like across platforms, business models and geographies. We have more amazing games launching over the coming months, including our robust slate of titles for the next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft. Meanwhile, Mobile continues its amazing trajectory, and we’re exploring new opportunities in digital gaming every day.

I’m incredibly motivated to lead all of you into this new era of gaming joined by a management team of unmatched experience and passion. I look forward to sharing more soon.


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