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New board appointment helps EA stock hit one year high

Offer to investor fuels confidence as publisher continues move to digital markets

EA stock has reached a 52-week high, in the wake of the announcement that a key exec from Relational Investors may be appointed to the company's board of directors.

Stock in the publisher is currently trading at $24.41, up 2.13 per cent on the day and down only slightly from a high of $24.50, in the immediate aftermath of the announcement.

Ralph Whitworth's appointment has not been confirmed, but he was given the option following a mutual cooperation agreement on Tuesday. At Relational's request he is also likely to join EA's executive compensation and leadership committee.

"Electronic Arts and Relational have engaged in a series of discussions about EA's significant progress in improving its business and its prospects for continued growth and improvement," said CEO John Riccitiello.

"This agreement signals Relational's confidence as we transform EA from a packaged goods company to a fully integrated digital entertainment company."

As principal and co-founder of one of EA's major shareholders the publisher has already agreed to re-nominate Whitworth at the 2012 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, for a customary one-year term.

Relational Investors first invested in EA in early 2011 and now owns around 1.5 per cent of the company's common stock.

"EA's performance over the last several months and the rapid growth of its digital business demonstrate the fundamental strength of its business franchise and management's ability to extend the company's industry leadership," said Whitworth.

"We are pleased to be closely engaged with EA's management team and we are confident in the company's growth potential."

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