2012 Awardee Profiles

American Horizon Award Recipient

John Riccitiello
Electronic Arts

John Riccitiello is chief executive officer of Electronic Arts (EA), the world’s leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment.  EA is known for franchises such as “The Sims,” “Madden NFL,” “FIFA Soccer,” “Need for Speed,” and “Battlefield.”

Mr. Riccitiello originally joined EA in October 1997 as president and chief operating officer.  He served as president during a period of dynamic growth, and with his help EA increased its market share, diversified its product portfolio, and strengthened its international business.  He left the company in 2004 to become a founding partner and managing director of Elevation Partners, a private equity partnership focused on the media and entertainment sector.

In addition to his responsibilities as a managing director at Elevation, Mr. Riccitiello served as chairman and CEO of VG Holdings (consisting of BioWare and Pandemic Studios, both leading developers in the video game business).  He also served on the board of directors of Forbes Media LLC.  Mr. Riccitiello returned to EA as CEO in April 2007.

Prior to joining Electronic Arts, Mr. Riccitiello served as president and chief executive officer of the worldwide bakery division at Sara Lee Corporation.  He also served as president and CEO of Wilson Sporting Goods Co., and held executive positions at Haagen-Dazs, PepsiCo, Inc., and The Clorox Company.

Mr. Riccitiello holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Berkeley.  He lives with his wife and children in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Freedom of Speech Award Recipient

Bob Pittman
Clear Channel

Bob Pittman became the CEO of Clear Channel Media Holdings in October 2011.  In his role as chief executive, Mr. Pittman serves on the boards of directors of CC Media Holdings and Clear Channel Communications.  In addition, he is the executive chairman of the board of directors of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings.

Mr. Pittman, a founding member of Pilot Group, LLC, a New York private investment firm, is a media innovator who has made a significant impact in a number of industries and companies.  He was co-founder of the MTV network, helped bring America Online into the mainstream consumer market, and turned around stagnant brands likes Six Flags Theme Parks and Century 21 Real Estate.

He has been CEO of MTV Networks, AOL Networks, Six Flags Theme Parks, Quantum Media, Century 21 Real Estate, and Time Warner Enterprises.  He was also COO of America Online and AOL Time Warner.

Mr. Pittman is the former chairman of the Robin Hood Foundation and the Public Theater of New York.  He still serves on those boards in addition to the New York City Ballet, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Alliance for Lupus Research.

Among many honors, Mr. Pittman has been inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.  He received the International Radio and Television Society’s Gold Medal and a Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Award.  Mr. Pittman was recognized in Life’s “Five Original Thinkers of the ’80s” and Advertising Age’s “50 Pioneers and Visionaries of TV” and “10 Marketers Who Changed American Culture.”