Former Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello to Speak at Haas, March 19

After graduating from Haas in 1981, John Riccitiello worked in management for a variety of consumer-goods companies before landing at Electronic Arts, where he served as COO and CEO over a period of 13 years. His high-profile leadership at the video-game company will be the focus of a conversation with Dean Rich Lyons on Wednesday, March 19, at 12:30 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Room.

The event is co-hosted by the Dean’s Speaker Series and the Haas Digital Media and Entertainment Club (DMEC). Members of the club will submit questions for Riccitiello in advance, and ten will be selected to be delivered by Lyons.

The discussion will also address Riccitiello’s transition from consumer products to technology, says DMEC member Sebastien Tron, MBA 15, who helped organize the talk after meeting Riccitiello at a conference.

“I think it is important to bring him to Haas because he is a Haas alum with a leadership position at a major tech and entertainment firm,” says Tron. “He is an inspiration to all of us students. Besides, many of us are career switchers who want to get into tech companies, where leadership is very often given to engineers.”

Before moving to EA, Riccitiello served stints at Clorox, PepsiCo, Häagen-Dazs, Wilson Sporting Goods, and Sara Lee. In 1997 he became president and COO of Electronic Arts.

He left the company seven years later to co-found private equity firm Elevation Partners, but was rehired in 2007 as CEO. During his time as CEO, he led Electronic Arts through a shift to digital gaming. He stepped down in March 2013 amid the boom in mobile gaming and financial challenges.

Riccitiello also sits on the Haas Board and delivered the 2011 undergraduate commencement speech.

For more information and to register for the event, visit