EA shuffles management as battle for GTA continues

The hostile takeover bid of GTA developer Take-Two has just taken a strange turn.

Giving absolutely no real reason whatsoever, and mid Eletronic Art's (EA) bid to take over its rival, EA's chief financial officer had announced he is to step down.

According to Reuters, Warren Jenson will stay to help the company close its fiscal year, which ends in just days time on 31 March.

A replacement will be named shortly, EA said.

Jenson said in a statement that it was time for him to write the next chapter in his career.

But the move, coming as it does as EA attempts to take over Grand Theft Auto developer Take-Two, has already prompted conspiracy theories amongst analysts.

"Had the replacement been a smooth, well-telegraphed transition, the Street may have viewed it more positively", UBS analyst Ben Schachter wrote in a note. "However, we think the unexpected timing will raise eyebrows and the company's risk profile."

Jenson's departure follows other EA management changes, most recently the appointment of John Pleasants as new chief operating officer.

Analysts are suggesting that it is part of a wider reorganisation by chief exec John Riccitiello, who returned to EA about a year ago; and may be surrounding himself with "his own people" before the impending battle with Take-Two.

Take-Two has already rejected EA's $2 billion takeover bid but the gaming giant has now taken its offer straight to the shareholders.

Perhaps EA is preparing an all-star team to get Take-Two before GTA IV is launched at the end of April?


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