Unity has announced that John Riccitiello is stepping down as president, CEO, chairman and board member effective immediately.
Former Electronic Arts boss Riccitiello joined engine maker Unity’s board in 2013 and has led the company since the following year.
His departure comes weeks after the company sparked a backlash from the development community by announcing controversial monetisation plans for its popular game engine, which it partially walked back following the outcry.
Former IBM president James Whitehurst has been appointed as Unity’s interim CEO and president, while Roelof Botha, lead independent director of the Unity board, has been named its new chairman.
“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,” Riccitiello said. “I look forward to supporting Unity through this transition and following the company’s future success.”
“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,” said Whitehurst.
Last month, Unity announced plans to charge developers every time a game that uses its engine is installed. Starting in January 2024, the proposed Unity Runtime Fee would apply to games that meet a minimum revenue threshold and have passed a minimum lifetime install count.
The move was widely criticised by developers, some of whom began boycotting Unity by switching off its ad products, and the company later revised it plans.
Unity said it would no longer be charging per-install fees for those using Unity Personal or Plus plans, and that fees would no longer apply to existing games.