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[UPDATE] Electronic Arts CEO 'worried about progress', says Pachter

Publishing boss Riccitiello 'thought new consoles would arrive by 2011'

[UPDATE]The original headline to this article was published as "Electronic Arts CEO 'is worried about his job security', says Pachter"

- Michael Pachter has since spoken to CVG to claim that, while he did have a meeting with John Riccitiello, and that the low share price of the company was discussed, and that Riccitiello appeared concerned with certain business matters, he says that the claim that Riccitiello was worried about his job prospects was "a bad joke" and not a factual statement.

The original, unedited article follows:

The chief executive of Electronic Arts is anxious about losing his job, according to an account of a conversation he allegedly had with Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter.

Speaking at the Develop Conference, Pachter told an industry audience that he recently had a meeting with EA chief John Riccitiello, and drew gasps from the crowd when he recounted: "He's worried about being fired and worried why his stock has hit such a low point".

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"I told him, 'John, the reason why this is happening is because you are in the fifth year of a three-year turnaround'".

Pachter is referring to Riccitiello's grand plan that he set out in 2008 when appointed the top role at one of the world's biggest publishers. His core strategy was to embrace digital faster than the firm's rivals, and to restructure the entire business so that it focuses on quality first.

Riccitiello's plan was that EA would return to a strong position in the market within three years (around 2011), though now the publisher is approaching its fifth year under its CEO and its share price is hovering at its lowest point for over a decade.

Pachter claimed that Riccitiello based his plan on the hope that consoles would launch between 2010 and 2011 and stimulate the market.

The current generation of consoles has stretched into its seventh year and has put many companies under pressure.

The traditional packaged goods games industry, as a whole, has contracted significantly during Riccitiello's reign - a contributing external factor which the company has little control over.

EA also has made inroads in the digital market, has been praised for some of its social games company acquisitions, and has restored its reputation for a publisher of quality systems.

Due to the nature of Pachter's account, it is not verifiable that Riccitiello is concerned about his job prospects.

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