EA Executive and former DICE CEO Patrick Soderlund has announced his departure from the company, with the businessman set to embark on the “next chapter” of his life outside of Electronic Arts. The news was announced in a note delivered to EA employees by CEO Andrew Wilson, which has now been shared with the general public.
The news comes after Soderlund was recently appointed EA’s Chief Design Officer, with Wilson calling him an “agent of change” for the company. Soderlund will be leaving EA within the next three months, though has yet to announce his next role after departing the company. It is also unclear who will assume his now-vacant role.
“Patrick has been a trusted business partner and a great friend, and his inspiring leadership has had an outstanding impact on EA,” the statement from Wilson reads. “As an integral part of the management team for many years – including as head of Worldwide Studios and, most recently, Chief Design Officer – he’s been an agent of change and transformation.
“From his early vision for Frostbite, which has now become a cornerstone for our technology strategy, to being a champion for Players First experiences, Patrick has always ensured we put creative at the center of everything we do. He has also been unwavering in his commitment to building our pipeline of amazing new games to come, and his fingerprints will be on the experiences that we bring to players well into the future.”
Soderlund joined DICE as CEO back in 2000, before joining EA in 2007 after the two companies merged in late 2006. After DICE was acquired by EA, Soderlund released a statement in which he called the partnership a “great step forward” for his team.
Though Soderlund enjoyed many successes while working with EA, in recent years he has also had to take the brunt of some of the company’s failings. The Star Wars Battlefront 2 microtransactions controversy caused Soderlund to explain the profound effect the backlash had on EA’s management: “We can shy away from it and pretend like it didn’t happen, or we can act responsibly and realize that we made some mistakes, and try to rectify those mistakes and learn from them,” he told Polygon back in April.
EA is currently at a pivotal point in its history. With many of the publisher’s recent decisions attracting a great deal of criticism and its mishandling of the Star Wars IP a major point of contention for fans of the blockbuster franchise, it is currently trying to rehabilitate its image among consumers. While Soderlund will still remain in his role heading into Q4 of the company’s financial year, Andrew Wilson and the rest of EA’s executives will now be on the lookout for a worthy successor to Soderlund’s decade-long career with the publisher.