Microsoft’s Don Mattrick Named Zynga CEO
Fresh off leading the controversial announcement of the Xbox One, Microsoft executive Don Mattrick has jumped ship to become the new CEO of game publisher Zynga.
Zynga’s spectacular fall from grace over the past 18 months has finally toppled Mark Pincus as chief executive of the gaming company. Mattrick also takes a seat on the company’s board of directors, where he’ll work alongside founder Marc Pincus as he continues to serve in the roles of chairman of the board and chief product officer. Both positions take effect next Monday, July 8, 2013.
Mattrick had been at Microsoft leading the EAD division (which includes the Xbox) for six years. “I joined Zynga because I believe that Mark’s pioneering vision and mission to connect the world through games is just getting started,” he said. “Zynga is a great business that has yet to realize its full potential. I’m proud to partner with Mark to deliver high-quality, fun, social games wherever people want to play.”
“Don is unique in the game business,” Pincus said in a prepared statement. “He can execute in multiple domains – hardware, software and network, and he’s been the person responsible for game franchises like Need for Speed, FIFA, and The Sims. He’s one of the top executives in the overall entertainment business and he’s a great coach who has inspired people to do their best work and build strong, productive teams.”
Last month, Zynga laid off 18 percent of its workforce. The explosive popularity of games like FarmVille got it off to a great start, but it has struggled with attempting to transition from Facebook games to mobile platforms.