John Riccitiello

Publishing executive

Leading North America’s largest videogame publisher is easily one of the biggest financial and strategic challenges in the business world. But Riccitiello, who became CEO of Electronic Arts last year, wants his executives to focus more on the product than the playing field: “Remaining No. 1 is 10th in my top-10 priority list,” he notes. “Making the best games is No. 1.”

Riccitiello’s strategy has involved a number of shifts, including reorganizing the company into four labels, acquiring independent developers Bioware and Pandemic for $860 million and attempting to buy Take-Two Interactive for $2 billion (thus far unsuccessfully). And with promising new games like “Dead Space,” “Spore” and “Madden NFL ’08” on the slate this year, EA might be able to stay ahead of fast-rising competitors like Activision Blizzard.

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