Electronic Arts on Monday announced that chief executive John Riccitiello is stepping down and that the US videogame giant would make less money than initially expected this quarter. Riccitiello will be out as chief and leave the board of directors effective March 30, according to EA. EA veteran Larry Probst was appointed to lead the California-based company\'s executive team while the board of directors searches for a replacement for Riccitiello, whose tenure as chief executive began in 2007. \"John has worked hard to lead the company through challenging transitions in our industry, and was instrumental in driving our very significant growth in digital revenues,\" said Probst, who served as EA CEO from 1991 to 2007. \"We have mutually agreed that this is the right time for a leadership transition.\" EA is among the longtime videogame industry companies striving to adapt to an industry being transformed by the popularity of free play on smartphones, tablet computers and online social networks. While announcing Riccitiello\'s departure, EA warned investors that its earnings for the quarter could be slightly lower than estimates provided at the end of January. EA is to report its quarterly earnings on May 7. \"After six years, I feel it is the right time for me to pass the baton and let new leadership take the company into its next phase of innovation and growth,\" Riccitiello said. \"I remain very optimistic about EA\'s future; there is a world class team driving the company\'s transition to the next generation of game consoles.\"