The lights are on
Update #2: Game Informer has been provided with the text of an internal email sent from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to all company employes. Interestingly, there is no replacement and Steve Ballmer's note about handling the day-to-day business does not sound temporary.
Zynga announced today that Don Mattrick would be its new CEO, effective July 8. This is a great opportunity for Don, and I wish him success. Don’s directs will report to me and will continue to drive the day-to-day business as a team, particularly focused on shipping Xbox One this holiday.
Since joining IEB more than six years ago, Don and his team have accomplished much. Xbox Live members grew from 6 million to 48 million. Xbox 360 became the No. 1 selling console in North America the past two years. We introduced Kinect and have sold more than 24 million sensors. We released fantastic games, and, most importantly, we expanded Xbox to go beyond great gaming to deliver all the entertainment people want — sports, music, movies, live television and much more.
In the past month, the IEB team showed for the first time here on our Redmond campus, and again at E3, how we are going to continue to transform entertainment with Xbox One. I am incredibly proud of the work and vision culminating in Xbox One.
I’m particularly excited about how Xbox pushes forward our devices and services transformation by bringing together the best of Microsoft. The consoles are incredible all-in-one devices with built-in services that consumers love, including Bing, Xbox Live, Internet Explorer, SkyDrive and Skype. And, just as important, Xbox Games, Xbox Video, Xbox Music and SmartGlass light up Windows PCs, tablets and phones.
Thank you, Don, for setting us on a path to completely redefine the entertainment industry. The strong leadership team at IEB and their teams are well positioned to deliver the next-generation entertainment console, as well as transformative entertainment experiences, long into the future.
Update #1: Zynga has confirmed that Don Mattrick, now former president of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, is coming aboard as the company's new CEO.
On Monday, Mattrick will take over the reigns as founder Mark Pincus abdicates that role, but remains as chariman of the board and chief product officer. Mattrick will report to the board, who approved his hiring unanimously. He and Pincus will be part of a new executive committee that will manage broader operations between board meetings.
Microsoft has not yet responded to our request for comment.
Since the Xbox One was announced in late May, buzz for the console has been mired with troubled communications. First there was the reversal on DRM and online connectivity. Last week saw the headset double step. And now, Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, is reportedly leaving to take a top position at Zynga.
All Things D is reporting that Mattrick's appointment could come as soon as the financial markets close today. Mattrick has been at the center of some of Microsoft's biggest Xbox One missteps, including suggesting that people who can't connect to the Internet purchase an Xbox 360 instead and that the Xbox One offers "thousands of dollars of value."
Zynga has seen its own exodus of personnel both before and after cutting 520 jobs last month. We've reached out to Microsoft and Zynga for comment. At the time of publication, Microsoft has yet to respond and Zynga declined to comment.
[Source: All Things D]
Our TakeIt's going to be impossible for Mattrick to shake the perception that his recent missteps are why he's leaving the Xbox One team. It would behoove Microsoft to put Phil Spencer (whom Andy Reiner and I interviewed at E3) forward as the face of Xbox One. Spencer is likable, a gamer, knows how to stay on message, and is adept at speaking with the media.
It's also known that Mattrick was champion of Kinect on the business side. With him possibly leaving, we're left to wonder if Microsoft is about to make one final reversal on mandatory Kinect (and thereby narrow the price gap with PlayStation 4).
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Thank the Master Chief he's gone
Don just got Xboned....but in all seriousness he will fit in perfectly at Zynga. All they seem to do is hemorrhage money and talent.
Great news. This guy couldn't keep his foot out of his mouth. Phil Spencer would be a great replacement.
Funny that he's transferring to a company whose games you have to be online to play.
Could be a very good thing for Microsoft if he leaves. Also, I really enjoy the "Our Take" segment.
maybe the next person to take Don's place at microsoft will put the gamers first this time.
So they're going to cut this guy loose and hope that all of the anti-consumer sentiment they've built over the last few months is going to leave with him? Mattrick couldn't have done a better job of tanking the XB One if he were on Sony's payroll, but he was a figurehead – not solely responsible for developing the offensive policies that he so poorly communicated.
If Mattrick had been replaced by someone … slicker before all of this started, I wonder what MS would have been able to sell to consumers? Would they gotten away with their "vision"? The solution to MS' problems isn't a better salesman, it's a better platform that empowers their consumers first. I want to see MS make a complete change in management and culture like Sony has shown since the minute that Mark Cerny took the stage to announce the PS4. Until then, MS has lost my business.
So what's "Our Take" on this?
Good. I want this guy to leave so bad.
So he's leaving a failing product for a failing company. I really don't see the improvement.
Well, at least you're on top of the stories that really matter.
He should be the head of FEMA, since he's so closely involved with disasters.
Every time a key XBox personnel sticks their foot in their mouth, they leave the company and someone else steps in and starts the whole process over. Microsoft's XBox division is such an unorganized and unfocused mess right now.
Good riddens, you'll fit right in with the other greedy suits!