Riccitiello resignation “clearly prompted by the board”, claims Pachter

Tuesday, 19 March 2013 09:13 GMT By Dave Cook

Long-serving EA CEO John Riccitiello resignation letter was “clearly prompted by the board”, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has suggested. It comes as Riccitiello claimed personal responsibility for the company missing financial targets and due to its lowered guidance.

You can read the full resignation letter here. I suggest that you do before continuing as it paints a grim picture of EA’s next round of financials, and puts the below into context.

Speaking with Eurogamer, the analyst gave his own thoughts on why Riccitiello left EA now.

Pachter began, “If you read his resignation letter, it was clearly prompted by the board. I think that missing guidance is a pretty weak excuse to fire him, particularly since the industry was down 24 per cent last year, and EA managed to gain share and grow its digital business.

“My guess is that the board couldn’t get over the Star Wars disaster (one of the reasons for buying Pandemic/BioWare), and the departures of the doctors, the departures of all of the PlayFish guys, and lackluster social and PopCap results just tipped them against him. The missed guidance was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Pachter also said that the reasons outline in the letter made for a “pretty weak excuse” for Riccitiello’s resignation.

What do you think? Was Riccitiello’s hand forced by the board, or are his reasons for leaving sound? Let us know below.