Unity CEO John Riccitiello Steps Down, Former Red Hat Exec Jim Whitehurst Takes Over


Unity, one of the leading gaming software development companies, has announced the resignation of CEO John Riccitiello. After holding multiple roles including president, CEO, and board chair, Riccitiello has decided to step down, leaving Unity’s leadership team in transition. Following this unexpected announcement, Unity has appointed former Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst as the interim CEO, until a permanent replacement is found.

Key Takeaway

Unity CEO John Riccitiello has stepped down, making way for interim CEO Jim Whitehurst, formerly of Red Hat. The leadership change will bring a period of uncertainty for Unity’s games engine, as the company searches for a new permanent CEO.

New Leadership, New Opportunities

The decision to bring in Jim Whitehurst, an experienced enterprise executive, comes as a surprise to many. With his extensive knowledge and expertise, Whitehurst is expected to successfully navigate the company during this transition period. Meanwhile, Roelof Botha, the lead independent board member, will temporarily take on the role of board chair.

In a statement, Whitehurst expressed his confidence in Unity’s ability to thrive under his leadership. He emphasized the company’s commitment to enhancing its platform, strengthening its community of customers, developers, and partners, and achieving its growth and profitability objectives. However, only time will tell if this transition will truly be seamless.

A Backtracking Blunder

Last month, Unity faced backlash from the gaming community due to a proposed runtime fee that the company had quickly retracted. The fee, which would have been charged for every game install beyond a certain level of revenue, drew widespread criticism. The community felt that the pricing scheme was unfair and demonstrated a disconnect between Unity’s leadership and its users.

Uncertainty and Stock Movement

With Riccitiello’s departure, Unity finds itself in a period of uncertainty as it searches for a new leadership team. This transition has had an immediate impact on the company’s stock, which dropped 1.5% after the news. Investors will be closely observing Unity’s upcoming third-quarter results, scheduled to be announced on November 9.

Overall, Unity’s change in leadership opens up new possibilities for the company. The focus now is on finding a suitable successor to guide Unity through its future endeavors.

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