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Unity CEO Retires Following Backlash Over Monetization Plans

Unity CEO Retires Following Backlash Over Monetization Plans - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 09 October 2023 / 3,387 Views

Unity has announced President, CEO, and a member of the Board of Directors John Riccitiello is retiring from the company effective immediately. 

James M. Whitehurst, former IBM Senior Advisor and President, will serve as the Interim CEO, President, and member of the Board. Roelof Botha has been appointed Chairman. 

Riccitiello is retiring following controversy and backlash from several weeks ago when the company announced monetization plans for the Unity engine, which it would later partially walk back from.

Unity CEO Retires Following Backlash Over Monetization Plans

"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," said Botha.

"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."

Riccitiello added, "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. I look forward to supporting Unity through this transition and following the Company’s future success."

Whitehurst stated, "I am honored to join Unity as Interim CEO and President at this important time in its evolution. 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."

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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TallSilhouette (on 10 October 2023)

Please let the door hit you on the way out.

  • +3
EpicRandy (on 10 October 2023)

The full reversal a few weeks was not enough, getting Riccitiello out was a necessary step to create an environment were trust can be built back. It will still be a hard next few months for Unity but now all mitigation are in place or will be soon. I hope for all the worker at Unity that'll be enough.

  • +1
TallSilhouette EpicRandy (on 10 October 2023)

Unfortunately their board is arguably even worse.

  • +2
DonFerrari (on 10 October 2023)

Meanwhile some CEO do a lot of worse stuff, but are kept. Guess either this had a very significative financial backlash or this company is really keen on keeping their image.

  • 0
mjk45 DonFerrari (on 10 October 2023)


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drkohler (on 10 October 2023)

How many $Millions leave the company with him?

  • 0
Dino drkohler (on 11 October 2023)

If it costs millions to get him then out so be it. He erroded $12bn off the share price over the last 3 years. Unity can now work towards recovery.

  • 0
mjk45 (on 10 October 2023)

Stepped down, or any other euphemism for sacked that you can think of that keeps that dirty word from being uttered in the boardroom unless directed at the general workforce where it belongs

  • 0
OneTime (on 14 October 2023)

I’m always surprised how angry people get when their “free lunch” turns out not to be free. Just because you can use Unity for free now doesn’t mean you always will. The CEO resigning won’t change the monetization plan either.

  • -1