Don Mattrick Leaves Zynga
Zynga has announced today that Don Mattrick is stepping down as CEO and will be replaced by company founder Mark Pincus.
Most gamers know Mattrick as the former president of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, where he oversaw the troubled lead up to the Xbox One's launch. Mattrick left MS amid a larger restructuring in July 2013, taking the job as Zynga's CEO with a $50 million contract.
Today, Zynga announced on its investors site that Mattrick is no longer with the company effective today. No reason was given for the change, but Pincus, who was Zynga's former CEO and will be returning to the role, thanked Mattrick for his service. "Don joined us in a very important time in our evolution," Pincus said. "...The team's hard work for our mobile players has resulted in bookings growing from 27% mobile bookings when Don joined to 60% by the end of last year." Pincus also credits Mattrick with the acquisition of NaturalMotion, the developer behind GTA V's Euphoria engine. Zynga's Clumsy Ninja and CSR Racing were developed by NaturalMotion, and have accrued over 160 million installs.
Mattrick wasn't at Zynga for very long, which has me interested to see what his next move is. Will he show up at another game company, or leave the industry entirely? Given his former salary and the bad (and likely unfair) reputation he's gotten for the Xbox One's early stumbles, I wouldn't blame him for seeking other opportunities – or just retiring on a beach somewhere.