Codemasters bosses leave after EA buyout

Codemasters bosses leave after EA buyout

CEO Frank Sagnier and CFO Rashid Varachia will leave Codemasters this July, EA has announced.

Photo credit: Codemasters / EA

It was not long ago that EA and Codemasters CEOs Andrew Wilson and Frank Sagnier were singing from the same hymn sheet. In May 2021, MCVUK published an interview with the pair, and both seemed excited about the future of Codemasters under the wing of EA. Now, not two months later, EA has announced that Frank Sagnier will be leaving the company, along with Codemasters CFO Rashid Varachia.

All part of the plan

In their announcement, EA have taken care to reassure everybody that the departure of the two most senior individuals within Codemasters had “always been part of the plan”, though it was not so much as hinted at in the two CEO’s previous interview. It does appear that, at the very least, the move is occurring sooner than either party had anticipated. This is, according to EA, simply due to the speed with which Codemasters has been integrated into the EA system. This high rate of integration was referenced by Sagnier himself in the May interview.

Naturally, a move such as this is always going to raise eyebrows, especially among those who fear that EA will change Codemasters and the F1 and DiRT series, making them unrecognisable from what the fanbase has grown to know and love. Back in May, EA’s Wilson stated that “our orientation isn’t to come in and take over Codemasters; our orientation isn’t to come in and turn Codemasters into another Electronic Arts studio”.

Replacing the two departing members of the Codemasters top brass are Clive Moody and Jonathan Bunney, both of whom have been part of the Codemasters team since well before EA’s acquisition. As such, the move seems to be more of a reshuffle within Codemasters than an expansion of EA’s influence over the developer.

What does the future hold?

With the imminent arrival of F1 2021, the timing of the departures seems fairly sensible. The Formula 1 series is the biggest Codemasters property, and the completion of development of this edition of the annually released title seems like a good place to pass on the torch.

Whether fans can expect to see the F1 games turned into just another EA series will not be clear from F1 2021, though the inclusion of legendary drivers in the My Team career mode is reminiscent of ex-football players in FIFA ultimate team. Indeed, both are even given the same titles – icons. Regardless, only time will truly tell.

What do you see in the future of Codemasters and EA? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

My name is Jacob and I have been writing for OverTake since November of 2020. I come from the UK, but I'm now living in Berlin. I love to watch, write about and sometimes shout about all forms of racing.