Electronic Arts president resigns

John Riccitiello relinquishes reins of industry's biggest publisher to start a "private equity business."

Shortly after the financial markets closed today in New York, Electronic Arts issued a release revealing that John Riccitiello, its president and COO, has resigned effective immediately. "My time at EA was the best work experience in my life," said Riccitiello in a statement. "I'm leaving EA when the company is enriched with the best people, the best properties, and a very bright future."

During the transition, Riccitiello will stay on in a limited capacity. EA CEO Larry Probst will temporarily assume the dual roles left vacant. Riccitiello has held the posts of president and COO since October of 1997. Prior to joining EA, he was president and CEO of the Sara Lee Corporation.

As for the reasons for his departure, Riccitiello stated that he intends to start a private equity business. "Personally, it is time to do something different," he said.

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Perhaps Mr. Riccitiello is not really interested in interactive entertainment to have made this move. I find it curious that the board of directors actually took him back.