Unity CEO John Riccitiello leaves

  • After almost nine years in the position
  • Praise for Riccitiello
  • James Whitehurst taking over temporarily
  • Search for a successor
  • Riccitiello kept it short and said 44 words

(exechange) — San Francisco, California, October 9, 2023 — This news came on Columbus Day. John Riccitiello, chief executive of Unity, leaves his position. As announced by Unity Software Inc. in a news release on Monday, October 9, 2023, John Riccitiello leaves his post as chief executive officer at the gaming software company, after almost nine years in the role, effective immediately.

Generally speaking, it raises questions when a CEO leaves his post abruptly.

Unity will undertake a search for a successor.

John Riccitiello’s duties as CEO will be taken over temporarily by James M. Whitehurst, a former President at IBM, as Interim Chief Executive Officer.

The fact that John Riccitiello’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

In general, an outsider does not have the constraints of an insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions.

No reason given

In the announcement, Unity did not explicitly explain the reason for the move.

Precise information regarding John Riccitiello’s future plans was not immediately available.


Unity said: “John Riccitiello will retire as President, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman and a member of the Company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately.”

Share price decline since October 2021

The announcement follows a decline in Unity Software Inc.’s share price of 76% since October 2021.

In the position of CEO since 2014

John Riccitiello became CEO of the Company in 2014.

Riccitiello will continue to advise Unity to ensure a smooth transition.

Riccitiello has served as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer since October 2014, as Executive Chairman of the Company’s Board since June 2014, and as a member of the Company’s Board since November 2013.

From April 2007 to February 2013, Riccitiello served as the Chief Executive Officer for Electronic Arts, Inc., a public video game developer and publisher, where he had previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer from October 1997 to April 2004.

From May 2004 to March 2007, Riccitiello co-founded and served as a Managing Director of Elevation Partners, LLC, a private equity firm.

Riccitiello holds a B.S. in business administration from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

44 words by John Riccitiello

In the release announcing his departure as CEO of Unity Software Inc., John Riccitiello received praise.

In announcing his departure, John Riccitiello kept it short and said 44 words.

“It’s been a privilege”

John Riccitiello stated: “It’s been a privilege to lead Unity for nearly a decade and serve our employees, customers, developers and partners, all of whom have been instrumental to the Company’s growth. I look forward to supporting Unity through this transition and following the Company’s future success.”

Push-out Score for John Riccitiello’s move determined

The Push-out Score indicates on a scale of 0 to 10 how likely it is that John Riccitiello was pushed out or felt pressure to leave his position.

exechange reached out to Unity and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 42.2023 ($).