TMCnet Feature
July 03, 2013

Microsoft's Mattrick Moves to Zynga

By Oliver VanDervoort, Contributing Writer

Just weeks after Don Mattrick helped introduce the Xbox One to the gaming public, the executive has been announced as the new CEO for Zynga (News - Alert). Zynga, which has been having a rather shaky year, seems to have righted its ship with the change of hands, as AllThingsD reported that its stock prices rose more than 11 percent directly after the announcement was made.

Mattrick will replace former CEO Mark Pincus, who still holds a 61-percent share of the company he helped found. Pincus will also remain the company’s chairman and chief product officer. There is apparently no bad blood between the two executives as Pincus played a pivotal role in bringing Mattrick to Zynga for this exact position. The former CEO of Zynga issued a statement about the hire, singing Mattrick’s praises.

"Don is unique in the game business," Pincus said in the 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.'”

Zynga needs a little bit of fresh blood, as the business model that had served the company so well continues to degrade. The company used to make the brunt of its revenues off of in-game purchases in Facebook (News - Alert) games. Gamers have been moving away from the games on Facebook, preferring mobile devices more and more.

The move might help Zynga but it appears to have Microsoft (News - Alert) and its Xbox division in a bit of disarray for the moment. Mattrick was thought to be the guy who could rise up the ranks within the gaming division. Now the firm will need to find a replacement relatively fast in order to avoid a slip over the next few months. The near future being important since most believe that the Xbox One will officially hit the market early this fall.

Edited by Alisen Downey
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