Electronic Arts (EA) announced a series of executive changes as the company prepares for the next generation of growth. Effective immediately, Paul Lee will serve as president of EA Worldwide Studios, replacing Don Mattrick, who has chosen to seek other opportunities after 23 years of leadership at EA and Distinctive Software (acquired by EA in 1991). David Gardner will now serve as coo of EA Worldwide Studios.
Leading EA's publishing organization will be Gerhard Florin, evp of International Publishing, and Frank Gibeau, evp of North American Publishing.
"These promotions of Paul, Gerhard, David and Frank reflect the enormous amount of talent and depth within our organization," said EA chairman/ceo Larry Probst. "Each of these executives has served many years in our company, developing their leadership skills and proving themselves with increasing levels of responsibility. I believe this is the strongest and most capable executive team in our industry."
Lee joined EA in 1991 with the acquisition of Distinctive Software and has held several leadership positions within the studios, most recently as evp and Studio coo. He has led EA through numerous technology transitions and the development of many successful intellectual properties.
Gardner, formerly svp of EA International Publishing, will support Lee. In addition, the 23-year veteran at EA will have oversight of EA Partners and EA Wireless.
Florin, formerly svp/gm of European Publishing, will expand his portfolio to include oversight of EA Asia. Jon Niermann, svp/gm of EA Asia, will report to Florin.
Gibeau, formerly svp of North American Marketing, who has been responsible for numerous innovative and award-winning marketing campaigns, will now be responsible for all aspects of the North American Publishing division.
Meanwhile, Nancy Smith, former evp/gm of North American Publishing, and EA veteran of 21 years, will take on a new role as evp and general manager of The Sims franchise. The added organization and executive focus on this most significant intellectual property will extend the power of this global franchise.
EA also promoted Glenn Entis to svp, chief visual and technical officer, reporting to Lee. As both the founder of PDI and the head of DreamWorks Interactive when EA acquired them in 2000, Entis is poised to lead EA's visual and technical teams into the next generation.
"These promotions and changes also mark the end of an era for EA," added Probst. "Both Don and Bruce have made enormous contributions to our company, our industry and to people all over the world who love games. We look forward to working with them again in the future."
"As both an independent developer and as an executive at EA, I've had terrific experiences in interactive entertainment," said Mattrick. "Today, EA is making great progress in developing games for the next generation of console technology and the company has an incredible bench of executive leaders. This is an ideal time for me to evaluate the next set of challenges in my career. I wish everyone at EA enormous success and hope that I'll be working with them again soon."
EA (www.ea.com), headquartered in Redwood City, California, develops, publishes and distributes interactive software worldwide for videogame systems, personal computers and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS, EA, EA SPORTS BIG and POGO. In fiscal 2005, EA posted revenues of $3.1 billion and had 31 titles that sold more than one million copies.