Riccitiello: Bad press affecting EA stock

Electronic Arts boss John Riccitiello has claimed negative press contributed to recent slumps in the publisher’s stock.

Speaking to Industry Gamers, the CEO went on to describe how coverage of the firm’s Q2 and first half results has also been damaged employee morale.

A lot of negative articles were written that entirely missed the point that we felt we had a great first half,” Riccitiello said. We’re cash flow positive, we’re profitable, we’re growing, and what we’ve chosen to do is a strategic step in the process of resetting our company to a different strategy.

Sometimes people almost believe more what they read in a newspaper than what they hear from their own company. A great deal of what’s written is often ill-informed and misunderstood. So it’s a hard thing for morale from time to time.”

Riccitello also commented on EA’s decision to axe 1,500 jobs, admitting that this has also been detrimental to employees’ attitudes.

No one likes layoffs,” he said. But the people in the company, given a choice between a company that wallows in the dirt and one that makes hard aggressive moves to make it the market leader that it could be, they prefer the latter.

None of the 1,500 people think they were the right people to be let go, and that hurts. You just can’t be that objective about your own individual job. I think everybody that remains, the vast majority of them understand the logic, they agree with it and support it and think we’re a stronger company for the moves.

And they are all excited about our move into digital and direct-to-consumer, which is something that probably wasn’t true two years ago when I described the strategy.”

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