Electronic Arts promotes Andrew Wilson to CEO

Electronic Arts Inc. has tapped an insider to lead the company, naming Andrew Wilson as its new CEO.

Wilson joined the video game publisher in 2000 and is the company’s executive vice president of EA sports and its online portal for digital games and services. EA’s current CEO — Larry Probst — will continue to serve as the company’s executive chairman for an indefinite period.

The Redwood City, Calif., company’s announcement Tuesday comes after a six-month search. Its former CEO John Riccitiello stepped down in March due to “shortcomings” in the company’s performance.

EA and other traditional video game companies are trying to adjust to changing consumer preference for mobile devices and cheap, or free, online games instead of buying expensive packaged titles.

The company behind popular game franchises such as “Madden,” ”Need for Speed” and “Battlefield” has cut costs and improved its focus on mobile and digital business to help survive. Profit in its latest quarter, which ended in June, increased 10 percent to $222 million.

Wilson said in an online statement that the company made strong gains in the first half of the year but still needs to finish the job. He plans to provide more details in the coming weeks on the plans to improve the company’s future.

Probst said that Wilson’s appointment reflects the board’s belief that the company is on track to become the global leader in interactive games and services.

Shares of EA increased 64 cents to close at $27.60 but slipped 14 cents in after-hours trading to $27.46.

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