CEO of Candy Crush developer stepping down

Riccardo Zacconi has been at the helm of game developer King Digital for more than 16 years.

Michelle Meyers
Michelle Meyers wrote and edited CNET News stories from 2005 to 2020 and is now a contributor to CNET.
Michelle Meyers

King Digital Entertainment CEO Riccardo Zacconi is stepping down effective July 1.


Riccardo Zacconi, the creator of the Candy Crush franchise, is stepping down as CEO of King Digital Entertainment, according to a regulatory filing Friday from parent company Activision Blizzard.

Zacconi, who has led the game developer for more than 16 years, will resign his executive post effective July 1 but will stay on as King's chairman to provide "guidance to the management" at both King and Activision Blizzard.

Activision Blizzard was already one of the largest gaming publishers in the business when it acquired King Digital in 2016 for $5.9 billion. Candy Crush is reportedly one of the most profitable smartphone apps of all time.

King Digital, founded in 2003, didn't respond to a request for comment.