Lawrence Francis Probst III
June 3, 1950
|Alma mater||University of Delaware|
|Occupation||Chairman, Electronic Arts|
Chairman, United States Olympic Committee
|Known for||Extensive work with and employment with Electronic Arts|
|Board member of||Electronic Arts|
Lawrence Francis Probst III (born June 3, 1950) is an American businessman who is best known for his work with the video game publisher Electronic Arts, including acting as CEO from 1991 until 2007 and as executive chairman from 2013–14. He remains chairman of EA and served as chairman of the United States Olympic Committee until 2019.
Probst was born on July 6, 1950. He is the son of Ruth (née Gallagher) and Lawrence Francis Probst II. He and his wife Nancy have two sons. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Delaware.
Probst worked for Johnson & Johnson and Clorox before being recruited into the video game industry through Activision in 1982. Two years later he joined EA as vice president for sales until 1986. He then took on the role of the company's senior vice president of the publishing division from 1986–90. He was promoted to president of Electronic Arts in 1990, remaining in that position until 1997. During this time, he was also pronounced CEO of Electronic Arts in 1991, which he held onto until April 2007. Next Generation named his one of the "75 Most Important People in the Games Industry of 1995", remarking that "Probst may not be as colorful a character as his predecessor [ Trip Hawkins], but he does seem adept at combining the freedom and daring of creativity with the restraints and common sense of a commercial operation."
When president and chief operating officer John Riccitiello resigned in April 2004, Probst became his successor. Riccitiello was re-hired as CEO in 2007, he retained his non-operational duties as chairman. He then worked as executive chairman of Electronic Arts Inc. from March 18, 2013, to January 1, 2015, and former chief executive officer of the company.
According to EA's 2005 Annual Report, Probst is the biggest individual shareholder in EA, owning 739,761 shares and the right to acquire a further 3.1 million, which combined accounts for 1.2 percent of the company. Probst sits on the boards of two cancer research groups: the V Foundation and ABC2.
In 2008, he was made the U.S. Olympic Committee chairman of the board. Five years after his appointment as chairman of the USOC, Probst was elected as an IOC member at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires in September 2013. Probst worked with many other IOC groups as well. Probst has served on the IOC International Relations and the IOC Radio and Television Commissions. He assumed the position of chair of the IOC Press Commission in 2014. At the end of 2018 Probst ceased to be a member of the IOC.
- "Lawrence Francis PROBST III - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". Beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
- Grubb, Jeffrey. "EA Sports chief Andrew Wilson is Electronic Arts' new CEO". VentureBeat. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
- Nutt, Christian (2014-12-08). "Longtime exec Larry Probst to leave EA, but remain on its board". Gamasutra.com. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
- "Alum Probst appointed chairman of U.S. Olympic Committee". 1.udel.edu. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
- "Lawrence F. Probst III-Chairman of the Board". ea.com. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
- "75 Power Players". Next Generation. Imagine Media (11): 70. November 1995.
- "Board of Directors". Archived from the original on December 7, 2008. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
- "Board of Directors Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure". Archived from the original on June 1, 2009. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
- "Lawrence F. Probst III". bloomberg.com. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
- "Larry Probst | USOC Board of Directors". Teamusa.org. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
- "IOC Session elects nine new members - Olympic News". Olympic.org. 2013-09-10. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
- "2015 - COMMISSIONS OF THE IOC" (PDF). Olympic IOC Commissions. p. 6. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
- Owen, David (January 6, 2019). "IOC membership dips back below 100 mark as constructive critics retire". Retrieved May 27, 2019.