Interview: EA’s New CEO Pledges to Stay the Course

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By Ian Sherr

Andrew Wilson, an Electronic Arts insider, has been named as the company’s chief executive. The Australian comes into the job during a period of dramatic transition for the industry, particularly as it looks forward to new videogame consoles being released in November, and the continually rising importance of mobile devices.

He spoke with the Wall Street Journal about his plans for the company. Edited excepts follow:

WSJ: Often, hiring an insider is a sign to investors that things aren’t going to change much. What’s the case at EA?

Wilson: It’s a sign to investors that we believe our strategy is sound — that our focus on talent and our brand and our platform, our investment in new consoles, mobile, PC free-to-play and emerging markets are exactly where we need to be driving this company.

I wouldn’t say it signals a lack of change because I think it’s important that we are focused and we have a ruthless sense of execution against our plans ahead to ensure our continued success.

WSJ: What’s your long-term vision for EA? How’s it going to be different from today?

Wilson: There were a couple of factors that fed into this process. Inside the company, I’m a known quantity. I’ve had the great fortune of having worked at this company for over 13 years. I’ve worked internationally, I’ve worked in a number of areas of the company, but I grew up inside our studio system.

When I think about our vision for the future, we have a very strong strategy around the ongoing development of the most amazing teams in the world.

We have a tremendous pipeline of intellectual property, both current intellectual property and new intellectual property, and we have been making investments against our digital platform that in my vision for the company moving forward will really start to pay dividends.

 

To read the rest of the story, either contact me directly or read more online at the WSJ: here. (subscription required)

 

(Published September 17, 2013, @ WSJ.com.)