Unity President & CEO John Riccitiello Retires from Positions, But Remains for Advisory Role to “Ensure a Smooth Transition”

Unity has announced that its president and CEO, John Riccitiello, has retired from those positions, as well as the board directors. This change is effective immediately.

Further, James. M. Whitehurst is the new Interim Chief Executive Officer, President, and board member. Plus, the Lead Independent Director of the Unity Board, Roelof Botha, is the new Chairman.

John Riccitiello will remain with the company in a select capacity, as he will aid it to “ensure a smooth transition.” No explicit reasoning was given for his departure.

This development has occurred shortly after the company’s controversial decision to introduce developer fees per game install before walking the policy back.

You can view the full message below:

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Unity (NYSE: U) (the “Company”), the world’s leading platform for creating and growing real-time 3D (RT3D) content, today announced that John Riccitiello will retire as President, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman and a member of the Company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. James M. Whitehurst has been appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer, President and a member of the Board. Roelof Botha, Lead Independent Director of the Unity Board, has been appointed Chairman. Mr. Riccitiello will continue to advise Unity to ensure a smooth transition.

The Board will initiate a comprehensive search process, with the assistance of a leading executive search firm, to identify a permanent CEO.

“Working with Unity under John’s leadership has been one of the highlights of my career. John joined the Unity Board in 2013 and stepped in to lead the Company in 2014, at a time when we faced significant challenges,” Mr. Botha said. “John has led Unity through incredible growth over the last nearly 10 years, helping us transition from a perpetual license to a subscription model, enabling developers to monetize, building other game services to serve our creator community, leading us through an IPO and positioning us as a pioneer in the developer community. Unity would not be where it is today without the impact of his contributions. I remain excited for the future of Unity.”

“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,” Mr. Riccitiello said. “I look forward to supporting Unity through this transition and following the Company’s future success.”

Mr. Whitehurst is a seasoned technology and public company executive. He previously served as Senior Advisor and President at IBM, after joining through IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat, a leading provider of open source enterprise IT products and services, where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer from 2008 to 2020.

“I am honored to join Unity as Interim CEO and President at this important time in its evolution,” Mr. Whitehurst said. “With the Company’s experienced leadership and passionate employees, I am confident that Unity is well-positioned to continue enhancing its platform, strengthening its community of customers, developers and partners, and focusing on its growth and profitability goals. I look forward to working closely with the Board and our talented global team to execute on our strategy, and I anticipate a seamless transition.”

Unity reaffirms its previously announced third quarter 2023 guidance. The Company’s expectations regarding its third quarter 2023 financial results are preliminary and are subject to revision in connection with Unity’s financial closing procedures and finalization of the Company’s condensed consolidated financial statements for the third quarter 2023. Actual results may differ from these preliminary expectations.

Unity will release third quarter 2023 financial results after the market close on Thursday, November 9, 2023, with a webcast to follow at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET. The webcast and shareholder letter can be accessed at investors.unity.com. A replay of the webcast will also be available on Unity’s Investor Relations website.

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Orpheus Joshua

Random gamer equally confused by the mainstream and the unusual.