Michael Pachter believes new Zynga CEO Don Mattrick was EA's first choice for its vacant chief executive role, and is now at a loss for a new candidate.
In a note to investors quoted by GamesIndustry, the Wedbush Morgan analyst said Matrick had been a "front-runner" for CEO of EA.
"Now that Mr. Mattrick has taken the job at Zynga, EA is back to square one in its search," he said.
We believe that the company will find few qualified candidates outside the company, and will ultimately choose between the top two internal candidates, COO Peter Moore and EVP Frank Gibeau. Both men are capable of running EA, in our opinion, and investors would respond favorably to either being appointed."
Pachter expressed surprise that Mattrick took the job at Zynga instead of the larger EA, which is in a much healthier financial position. But he does think the former Xbox president is a good choice for the job; we agree, as it happens.
"Mr. Mattrick has the skills and experience required to manage a large organization, and we believe he will right-size Zynga staffing levels in order to allow the company to become profitable almost immediately," the analyst noted said.
Mattrick's job shuffle has provoked a lot of conversation. Analysts don't think the Xbox One DRM policy reversal had anything to do with it, as talks had been going for some time; instead, it's believed Mattrick may have been unhappy about an organisational change which wouldn't bump him up from division president to a more senior role. Microsoft hasn't named a replacement and seems in no hurry to do so.
Meanwhile, EA has been without a CEO since March.