EA shuffles executive deck

[UPDATE] Frank Gibeau named president of EA Labels, in charge of EA Games, EA Sports, BioWare, and EA Play; Peter Moore becomes COO; Barry Cottle tapped to oversee mobile/casual-focused EA Interactive.

Electronic Arts is shaking up its organizational structure for the first time since 2007. The publisher today announced a new reorganization, as well as executive appointments to oversee the company's divisions.

A bunch of EA business cards just got outdated.

Starting Monday, EA Games president Frank Gibeau will take over as president of the new EA Labels, which will be composed of the EA Games, EA Sports, BioWare, and The Sims-driven EA Play divisions. Current EA Sports president Peter Moore will expand his purview, taking over as EA's chief operating officer in charge of the company's global publishing organization and online business, including the new digital distribution service Origin. (EA's previous COO, John Schappert, left the company in April to work for Zynga.) Finally, Barry Cottle will head up EA Interactive, the group that includes EA Mobile, Playfish, Pogo, Hasbro, and PopCap (acquisition pending).

In a statement announcing the changes, EA CEO John Riccitiello said it was "a great reflection" that it could find the newest leaders from within its own ranks and touted the success of the 2007 shake-up.

"Our quality has risen dramatically," Riccitiello said. "We've built an $800-million-plus digital business while pushing down operating costs. Not all of it was easy, but looking back, it was exactly the right structure and priorities for the challenges we faced. Now, we are switching from defense to offense. We're focusing on building our intellectual properties/franchises into year-round business. We've established our own platform, Origin, and we continue to grow our digital business."

[UPDATE] According to EA VP of corporate communication Jeff Brown, the change is in partly an extension of the publisher's strategy to consolidate cross-platform development within studios. He said that previously, a new game in a series like Need for Speed would be developed at a core studio, and then ancillary products, such as a Facebook or mobile game, would be offloaded onto other studios.

However, given the industry's shift toward a 365-day relationship with consumers that emphasizes post-release content, EA began charging teams that made the console versions of a game with also developing its Facebook complement. Brown said that EA has found substantial success with this change, and today's reorganization is a "doubling-down" of those efforts.

Brown also clarified Gibeau's direct reports. The EA Sports label will be led by Andrew Wilson, who previously served under Moore as studio head for EA Sports' various outfits. EA BioWare will be led by company cofounder Dr. Ray Muzyka, while Patrick Soderlund of EA DICE will fill Gibeau's former position atop the EA Games label. Susan Bradshaw has been tapped to head the EA Play division.

Lastly, Brown told GameSpot that the reorganization will not result in any change to its product release schedule. He also noted that far from laying off employees, EA is actively hiring.

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Discussion

28 comments
VarietyMage
VarietyMage

@weedman1985: Yes, but you need Steam to be able to install and patch it (and in some cases, to save your games and trophies). I don't like Internet dependencies, because if Steam ever goes down, I'm stuck. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was prevented from installing Duke Nukem Forever because I couldn't get through to Steam to get the DX9 updates the game said it required. THAT is what I'm talking about. Everything I need to install and play the game should be on the disc, period. Everything I need to patch the game should be on the developer's web site, thus eliminating the need for Steam altogether (just like in the old days). I could keep an archive of patches up-to-date along with my installation discs, and therefore not need to re-download everything in case my hard drive crashes or I get a bigger one. To me, Steam is just a big inconvenience, and it takes up room in my computer's memory that could be used to produce a bigger frame rate when I'm playing my games. I don't like it, and I wish it and all other programs like it would just go away forever.

DarkAngeles
DarkAngeles

@Megavideogamer Believe it or not, EA's CEO was (or is) a gamer.

jamyskis
jamyskis

Shame the shareholders didn't oust that gobby Riccitello instead.

packtop
packtop

@Henninger Can't say you right and can't say your wrong either. Game they release lately are indeed good for the most part but most of the time we only get half games. If your happy to get a half game at full price then good for you. I know not all games from EA are like that but for most yeah they sell use half a game and after force us to buy dlc if we want the complete game.

Reyveign
Reyveign

@GarGx1 I'm only 22, is it okay to start saying "BACK WHEN I WAS YOUNG, WE NEVER HAD ANY OF THAT *insert random thing that changed*"? I think I'm gonna start using it.... EDIT: I'm tired, sorry. I quoted the wrong person the first time. Was meant for GarGx1.

GarGx1
GarGx1

@Reyveign In this day and age remember it's the company that's always right - they will tell us what we like and how we like it.

MrGoldfish1
MrGoldfish1

Why don't the fix their PS3 servers instead?

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Do any of these people actually play videogames? Not that it is required to run a business which is what EA is. But do these men understand the people who buy their products?

helldude90
helldude90

"A bunch of EA business cards just got outdated" LOL

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

All I read here was... 'EA wants more money.' Something about executives too maybe..? Oh wait.. Yeah. EA's executives want more money. That was it.

servb0ts
servb0ts

EA doesn't have a clue what to do, so Musical Chairs is the Final Answer lol :P.

Justforvisit
Justforvisit

@weedman1985 I really like your userpic :D We should have signs like this in RL...

Henninger
Henninger

They still suck. But their games have been better as of late (with the exception of their sports games they still suck). Not gonna lie, the games they've pushed out since about 08 r pretty good.

999realthings
999realthings

Tell me when EA is run by people who loves game and not businessmen who will run games into the ground to make a small profit

dstv
dstv

@Ka-BaMf ..LOL....at the pause before that part of the song i was like WTF shortest song ever ...then i heard that line and i was like =D

weedman1985
weedman1985

@VarietyMage You do know that you can play any Steam game offline, right?

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

They destroy good companies like Origin Systems, and use the Origin name for their supposed Steam-killer app. Good luck with that, EA...you killed some of the best IP you had, in order to do something that's already been done and far better than you ever will. I don't like Steam (or any game that depends on an internet connection to be able to play or patch it), but I hope they put EA in their place. Their Facebook games won't make much money, and will be a drag on their bottom line in the human resources department. It won't last long. Once again, EA shows that it's reached apex predator status, it's running out of prey, and it feels the pangs of starvation (thus forcing it to try to eat leaner stuff to stay alive). Dumb. PS: Pray that ST:TOR is a major hit, or things will go from bad to worse.

weedman1985
weedman1985

You can always count on EA to find a new way to rip you off.

Reyveign
Reyveign

Hopefully you guys will change the employees that're making all the decisions that **** gamers off. Does the saying "The customer is always right" carry no weight anymore?

Ka-BaMf
Ka-BaMf

EVERY DAY I'M SHUFFLIN'

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

Makes good business sense. Now if something fails, you have a better chance at pointing your finger in the right direction.

Mkherkzen
Mkherkzen

I guess it won't change the situation for us, consumers...will it?

Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

" Pushing down operating costs" " Digital Buisness" - No Manuals- No More Hardcopy games- =(

nocoolnamejim
nocoolnamejim moderator

I can only hope and pray that the new head of Bioware has the same sort of vision that Bioware had prior to the EA acquisition and will be focusing more on making RPGs ACTUAL RPGs instead of taking the Mike Laidlaw route of trying to create RPGs for non-RPG fans.

vadicta
vadicta

That deck gave me a headache... :P

Son_of_Bmore
Son_of_Bmore

Well wit greedy Peter Moore in charge of all now u can never buy a used EA game again......He'll make it that u can't play at all it if u buy it used