Grew up in Pasadena, California. Designed board games in high school.
Went to Harvard. Combined social science and computer courses to create his own interdisciplinary major, strategy and applied game theory.
Enrolled on the MBA program at Stanford, and upon graduating joined Apple as manager of market research. He left Apple in May 1982.
Founded Amazing Software, later to become Electronic Arts, with Bing Gordon, a college friend, and others. Originally they planned to only produce games for computers, but by 1990 they conceded that they should enter the market for console software too.
Electronic Arts went public in 1990 at US$8 a share - this rose to US$35 within a year.
In December 1990 he turned over more of the day to day control of EA to Larry Probst and Bing Gordon.
In April 2004, Trip Hawkins emailed me to correct the many errors on this page. His email is below:
I was born in 1953.
My first title at Apple when I joined in 1978 was Manager of Market Planning.
I am the sole founder of EA. I had the original idea for the company in 1975 and even at that time I decided that the right time to found the company would be 1982. In April 1982 I left Apple and in May I alone formed the corporation. I personally funded the business for the next 6 months, opened the first office myself, and hired the first employees in August 1982 beginning with Rich Melmon.
Bing Gordon was not a college friend, I met him in business school. He was not a founder, but he was an early employee. He was the 7th employee, reported to Rich Melmon, and was hired in September 1982. Bing went on to play a key creative role in the company but never served in a significant operating capacity.
The EA IPO was in 1989 and the stock did not take off until 1991 after investors finally concluded that there was a big market for 16-bit games and understood why our Sega strategy from 1989 onwards was paying off.
I promoted Larry Probst to CEO in 1991 and I remained chairman of the board through 1994.
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