Andrew Wilson has been named as chief executive officer (CEO) of Electronic Arts Inc. (EA - Analyst Report). Wilson had been working as the head of the sports and digital games division of the company. Wilson’s rich experience and good track record made him the most preferred candidate for the chair.
Having joined EA in 2000, Wilson contributed meaningfully in growing the sports and digital games division. He became the executive vice president of EA Sports, which publishes blockbuster titles such as FIFA, in Aug 2011.
He has earned considerable respect from his developers in the studio and was actively involved in the development of FIFA. While discussing his future course of action, Wilson made it clear in a recent blog post that his company will continue to make fresh investments in mobile gaming, which offers substantial growth potential.
EA’s previous CEO, John Riccitiello, could not live up to management expectations and resigned suddenly in Mar 2013. Since then EA had been operating without a CEO.
EA needed somebody like Wilson to take the company further as he is familiar with the company, its products and services and has great business acumen. EA Sports has launched award winning games such as NHL14 during his tenure and we are also hopeful about its upcoming shooter game Battlefield 4 and soccer title FIFA 14.
We believe that EA has strategically appointed Wilson just before the critical holiday season to drive sales and improve its bottom line. EA has a strong digital portfolio and has been witnessing continuing growth in the free-to-play and online segment. However, EA faces a number of headwinds that include a soft video game industry performance and competition from other game makers such as Activision Blizzard (ATVI - Snapshot Report).
Moreover, video game consumers are holding back their purchases due to the upcoming release of new consoles from companies such as Microsoft (MSFT - Analyst Report) and Sony (SNE - Analyst Report). This is negatively impacting video game retail sales in the near term.
Nevertheless, we believe the appointment of a new CEO, innovative product pipeline, higher consumer spending due to the upcoming holiday season, launch of new consoles and strong position in digital gaming will drive EA’s stock going forward.
Currently, EA has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).