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access_time July 1, 2013 at 11:00 AM in News by Tyler Colp

Don Mattrick leaving Microsoft for ‘top job’ at Zynga [UPDATE: Zynga Confirms]


Update: Mattrick will join Zynga as CEO, the company confirmed today via press release. Mark Pincus wrote a letter that details the announcement, via Kotaku.

To our Zynga employees, players and shareholders,

Today is a big day. I’m excited to announce that Don Mattrick will be joining us as Zynga’s new CEO and member of our Board. I wanted to let you all know why I made the decision to recruit Don and what I think it means for all of us.

Over the last few months I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about all that we have achieved together as a company. We have pioneered social gaming and helped make Play a core part of millions of people’s lives. But Zynga has so much more potential ahead, the opportunity to be an Internet Treasure and deliver on our mission of connecting the world through games.

As I reflect on the past six years, I realize that I’ve had the greatest impact working as an entrepreneur with product teams, developing games that could entertain and connect millions.

I’ve always said to Bing and our Board that if I could find someone who could do a better job as our CEO I’d do all I could to recruit and bring that person in. I’m confident that Don is that leader.

If you’re not familiar with Don, he’s an entertainment and game industry innovator who’s been making products and scaling teams and businesses for the last 30 years. Don’s had major leadership roles at Microsoft, Electronic Arts and Distinctive Software, which he founded when he was 17 years old.

Don is unique in the game business. 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.

He deeply understands the value of a network and the importance of creating lifelong consumer relationships. He turned Xbox into the world’s largest console gaming network, growing its installed base from 10 to 80 million and transformed that business from deep losses to substantial profits. And he has grown the Xbox Live player network from 6 to 50 million active members.

Going forward I’ll continue in my role as Chairman and Chief Product Officer. I’m excited to partner with Don and the rest of our team to return Zynga to its leadership role in inventing and growing Play as a core human experience.

Don officially starts next week; however he’ll be joining me tomorrow to host an All-Hands meeting so you can all have an opportunity to meet him and ask any questions. Please feel free as always to post your questions and vote up questions on our Zyntranet here.

Thanks and see you tomorrow.


Original story:

The man responsible for the Xbox division of Microsoft, and who we saw announce the Xbox One in May, Don Mattrick, is leaving the company to take a “top job” at Zynga, All Things D reports.

Mattrick will work in close partnership with Zynga founder and CEO Mark Pincus, “multiple sources close to the situation,” told All Things D. The “top job,” could see Mattrick take the CEO role, with Pincus stepping down.

Zynga has been struggling since its public offering in 2011, with a number of layoffs and office closures outside of its San Francisco headquarters.

Mattrick’s departure is unrelated to Microsoft’s rumored, upcoming massive restructuring, according to the report.

The report also says Mattrick was on a short list of executives being considered to run publisher Electronic Arts, that has yet to name a new CEO.

The news comes only two weeks after Microsoft had a huge reversal on its always-online and digital rights management plans for the Xbox One.

Mattrick joined Microsoft in 2007, after working in the games industry since he was 17-years-old.

Source: All Things D


  • Matthew Wesley July 2, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    Well, Zynga is hanging on by a thread and I don’t think Don Matrick with his shit eating grin, is going to help them.

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