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EA and VG Holding Play Musical Chairs

by Rainier on Feb. 26, 2007 @ 7:27 p.m. PST

VG Holding, the investment company that brought together Bioware and Pandemic, announced that its CEO John Riccitiello (formerly EA President and COO) resigned to replace EA's CEO Larry Probst. Taking the position Riccitiello left behind is Greg Richardson, also former EA executive, and previously Vice President of Commercial Operations for BioWare/Pandemic.

Greg Richardson, age 40, has been a senior executive with BioWare/Pandemic since the inception of the firm, serving most recently as the company’s Vice President of Commercial Operations. With 12 years in the video game business, Richardson has deep expertise in the interactive entertainment market. Richardson was a former general manager of the EA Partners division of Electronic Arts prior to joining Elevation Partners as an executive-in-residence.

“The BioWare/Pandemic alliance broke new ground with two of the top independent game studios coming together to collaborate on creative ideas and cutting edge technologies while supporting distinctive cultures and strengths,” said Roger McNamee, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Elevation Partners. “A catalyst in the creation of this unique venture, Greg is the natural choice to work with the BioWare/Pandemic executives as they continue to create award-winning titles and expand their talent base.”

BioWare and Pandemic have collectively sold more than 33 million copies of games accounting for more than $950 million in revenue. BioWare/Pandemic has produced a number of critical and commercial hit games. Highly anticipated titles include the epic sci-fi adventure Mass Effect exclusively for the Xbox 360 which will launch the first half of 2007 and Mercenaries 2TM which will be available on the PS3, XB360, PS2 and PC later this year. To fuel its continuing success, BioWare/Pandemic has grown its employee headcount to more than 675 employees, hiring developers, artists, engineers and other personnel at its facilities in Los Angeles, Austin, Edmonton, Canada, Menlo Park, and Brisbane, Australia.

“One of our goals at BioWare/Pandemic Studios is to create an amazing environment to attract and support the industry’s best talent,” said Ray Muzyka, CEO of BioWare Corp. “Greg Richardson shares this vision and we look forward to working with him even more closely in the future as he partners with us to help us build true ‘event’ products that will have a huge impact on our industry.”

President of Pandemic Studios, Josh Resnick, shares this people-first focus, believing that BioWare/Pandemic’s studios’ most valuable assets are the people who make it all happen. “We have succeeded and will continue to succeed because we have put together an all-star creative, production and operations team,” said Resnick. “Greg will be a strong addition to the team in his new role as CEO of VG Holdings.”

Mr. Riccitiello served previously as EA’s President and Chief Operating Officer responsible for global publishing, online and other corporate functions before leaving the company in 2004.

“We’re happy to welcome John back as EA’s new CEO,” said Larry Probst. “His skill and vision as an executive and his experience in our industry have earned him the respect of our employees and shareholders.”

“Leading EA has always been my dream job and I am truly honored that Larry and the Board have given me this opportunity,” said John Riccitiello. “This is an extremely well-run company driven by outstanding studio and publishing teams. They’ve also made strategic investments in new platforms and markets that will help extend EA’s industry leadership in the years ahead.”

After leaving EA in 2004, he became a co-founder and Managing Partner at Elevation Partners. Among his responsibilities at Elevation, John oversaw the group’s videogame business. Mr. Riccitiello also serves on the board of directors of Hyperion Solutions Corporation.

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