Electronic Arts mobile head suddenly leaves the company

The game making giant said Frank Gibeau has "chosen to transition on from Electronic Arts," after having most recently led its mobile efforts. Gibeau held some of the most influential positions in the company.

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Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
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Frank Gibeau worked at EA for more than 20 years. Josh Miller/CNET

Electronic Arts' head of mobile gaming has left the company.

Frank Gibeau, who spent more than 20 years at the game maker, left Monday, Electronic Arts revealed in a filing and confirmed in a statement.

The move was sudden, but some analysts had anticipated his departure for some time. Gibeau had been considered a contender for the role of chief executive at EA after John Riccitiello's sudden exit in March 2013. Six months later, the company tapped Andrew Wilson, then the head of its sports games division, as its new leader. Since then, the company has seen its CTO Rajat Taneja also leave to become executive vice president of technology at Visa. Last year, the company hired eBay's Ken Moss as CTO. Chris Bruzzo, from Starbucks and Amazon.com, became the company's new chief marketing officer last year.

Gibeau's departure caps more than two decades at the company, most recently heading the teams responsible for games like the strategy games The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Plants vs. Zombies, as well as the car game Real Racing and the puzzle game Bejeweled. Before that, he led the company's "Labels" group, which created games like its war simulation franchise Battlefield, strategy series like SimCity and The Sims and its fantasy game Star Wars: The Old Republic.

"Throughout a more than 20-year career, Frank's made many significant contributions to the company, our people and our games," EA said in a statement. "We thank Frank for his achievements at EA, and we wish him all the best in his next chapter."

Gibeau said in a statement that he's proud of the games he had a chance to work with, and he's excited to try a new challenge. "It's been a really great ride, the best job ever, jam-packed with incredible life experiences and filled with many great friends," he said.

Wilson sent an email to employees Tuesday reassuring them the company will continue to focus on mobile games, despite Gibeau's exit.

"Mobile games continue to be a core focus for EA," he said. The mobile game division will report to him "as we work through our long-term organizational plans."