Electronic Arts names insider as new CEO

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Videogame giant Electronic Arts on Tuesday named company insider Andrew Wilson as its new chief executive.

Wilson, who had been heading the company's sports unit and online portal for digital games, joined the California group in 2000 and worked in Asia and as head of the Fifa game titles.

Executive chairman Larry Probst said EA had conducted a "rigorous search," both inside and outside the company.

"Andrew's appointment is a clear demonstration of the deep bench of management talent at EA, and reflects our fundamental belief that EA is on track to become the global leader in interactive games and services," he said.

Probst noted that Wilson is the first studio executive to serve as the company's CEO and said this is "a testament to his blend of creative skills and business acumen." EA, along with a number of longtime videogame companies, is striving to adapt to an industry being transformed by the popularity of free play on mobile devices and online social networks.

In March, EA chief executive John Riccitiello said he was stepping down amid disappointing earnings.

EA is known for its Sims titles, the Battlefield and Need For Speed series, as well as Fifa and other sports games.

A regulatory filing said Wilson would have a base salary of US$800,000 (S$1 million) with a target bonus of 150 per cent of the salary, plus stock options.