The lights are on
Fast Company has published a profile of new Zynga CEO (and former Microsoft president of interactive entertainment) Don Mattrick. The piece is an interesting look at a man recently at the receiving end of gamer backlash, but more importantly hints at upcoming changes in Redmond.
The piece speculates that Mattrick's departure, which left the Xbox One launch in the hands of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, was unexpected but also instigated by a major reorganization that will be taking place in the coming days. It also suggests that Phil Spencer, current head of Microsoft Studios, will be tapped to take over the interactive entertainment business.
Fast Company's sources point to the shakeup as the primary reason for Mattrick's departure. He was rumored to be in line to lead a new hardware division.
Mattrick is known for being an aggressive business strategist, turning around the Xbox business. His tenure is marked by the hiring of former CBS executive Nancy Tellem to lead the Entertainment Studios and the spearheading of the Kinect project (which has now sold 10 million units).
We've reached out to Microsoft for comment on the reorganization.
[Source: Fast Company]
Our TakeI suggested yesterday that Phil Spencer would be a smart pick to fill Mattrick's role, and I stand by that. He's got the right personality, a deep love of gaming, and a long history at the company. Even if he doesn't get tapped to take the lead, putting him in front of gamers would be the smart choice.
As for an organizational shakeup, it's clearly needed. The Xbox brand needs to become more focused, and the communication needs to be tighter. Most importantly, it needs to happen quickly. In his role as CEO, Steve Ballmer has an entire company to worry about, which means the Xbox One launch isn't going to get the attention it needs from him.
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I would agree with you on both that a shakeup is needed over at Redmond, and that Phil Spencer is the smart pick. I'm still really not surprised by Don Mattrick making this preemptive mover before everything happened.
Good luck, Mattrick. I hope your career takes a good turn.
Well... whatever it takes for MS to get there sh*t together. I won't miss this guy in the least. You would be hard pressed to bungle things any worse than Mattrick and MS have already done.
I'm interested to see both how this reorganization goes and if Zynga can ever be turned around for the better.
Microsoft seems so unorganized right now, there is no communication over there.
86 the mandatory Kinect, drop the price, provide options for the entertainment side and bolster the gaming culture they have nurtured so far. Phil Spencer, to infinity and beyond!
Sure it was.
The interesting thing to me is whether or not the new person will still maintain the existing culture around Xbox or will they try to tame the "bro culture" that we often hear about. Microsoft did a splendid job of capturing that market over the first two console cycles, but with the advent of Kinect and their all-in-one device approch, it seems that they want to go more family friendly. They want the XB1 to be that first true all-in-one home device and have the placement to do it. Many of the owners of those first two consoles now have families.
I am interested to see the upcoming changes and how they will effect us as gamers and the things we want.