February 26, 2009
I had a great visit yesterday with John Pleasants, the COO of EA. John formerly was CEO of Ticketmaster, where he helped steer the company’s successful transition from offline ticketing leader to becoming the leader in online ticketing.
Now, he is trying to do the same at EA. If anyone is equipped for the job, it should be John.
But it is not an easy task. How does a company which has built such prowess in one business infuse its organization with the radically different thinking and skills needed to win in a dramatically different business? Are the skills which enabled EA to dominate the console videogame business readily translatable into what it takes to build a dominant online games business?
The very same challenges clearly are playing out across the media industry, where mainstream media giants are struggling to plat catchup on the web. And, for that matter, even first generation web companies like Yahoo and AOL seem to have missed the emergence of the new social web.
Can you think of examples where the 1.0 leader successfully won in the transition to 2.0?