Everyone’s favorite video game exec Peter Moore has today been promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Electronic Arts, leaving behind his position as President of the EA Sports label – a post which he discussed with me in some detail not that long ago. And it doesn’t exactly come as a huge surprise…
Even though he’s the man who ultimately pulled the plug on Dreamcast, the former Sega of America president and Xbox vice president is often a hit with gamers thanks to his charisma and stage presence at presentations such as E3.
His time at EA to date has been productive, with annual sports releases such as FIFA now met with consistent acclaim rather than sighs of indifference and cynicism observed before he helped set things straight.
Promoting him is probably a smart move on the part of EA CEO John Riccitiello, therefore, which frankly comes as no surprise; although the jury’s still out on his potentially risky $750m swoop on PopCap, broadly speaking the man hasn’t put a foot wrong since he started turning the company around a few years ago.
Riccitiello says the company is now “switching from defense to offense”:
“This is the first material re-organisation since we established EA’s label structure in 2007. Our progress since then has been incredible. We executed against three transformational strategies: (1) Fewer, Better, Bigger, (2) Expanding our digital businesses, and (3) Tighter cost management. Our quality has risen dramatically. We’ve built an $800m+ 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… We are already seeing big returns on our investment in change. That’s why this is precisely the right time to update our organisation.”
Meanwhile, EA Games boss Frank Gibeau has also been promoted and will now oversee all four EA labels: EA Games, EA Play and BioWare and now of course EA Sports.
EA has also recently launched its own retail platform, Origin, to compete with the popular Steam service from Valve. While I’m not yet sure yet what’s in store for Origin, it’s difficult not to like EA as a company more and more each day.