Officials from major publisher and developer Electronic Arts surprisingly announced that former EA president John Riccitiello will return as the company's CEO, while current CEO Larry Probst will continue on as executive chairman of the board of directors.
Riccitiello's new role at EA will begin effective April 2. The executive previously served as EA's president and COO before leaving the company in 2004.
After leaving EA, Riccitiello co-founded media and entertainment investment firm Elevation Partners, where he oversaw the group's video game business, which included majority ownership of BioWare/Pandemic Studios, a deal engineered by the exec in late 2005.
"We're happy to welcome John back as EA's new CEO," said Larry Probst. "His skill and vision as an executive and his experience in our industry have earned him the respect of our employees and shareholders."
Riccitiello added: “Leading EA has always been my dream job and I am truly honored that Larry and the Board have given me this opportunity. This is an extremely well-run company driven by outstanding studio and publishing teams. They've also made strategic investments in new platforms and markets that will help extend EA's industry leadership in the years ahead.”