Microsoft’s head of Interactive Entertainment Business, Don Mattrick has been confirmed as Zynga’s new CEO. Mark Pincus, Zynga’s founder and former-CEO, will assume a new role in the company as CPO.
“Don is unique in the game business,” said Pincus. “He can execute in multiple domains—hardware, software and network, and he’s been the person for game franchises like ‘Need for Speed,’ ‘FIFA and ‘The Sims.’”
Pincus continues to rave about Mattrick by saying, “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.”
The social gaming company has struggled since its IPO with Pincus at the helm, but since news broke about Mattrick’s entrance, Zynga’s stocks have rose more than 11 percent to $3.10 Pincus still has the controlling ownership of the company, but now it’s up to Mattrick to turn the company around.
Mattrick’s departure from Microsoft is quite untimely considering the Redmond-based company is in the midst of preparing for the launch of the Xbox One. Although Mattrick has taken a fair bit of scrutiny for his part in the Microsoft’s new game licensing and ownership strategy (later changed), his resume in the video game and entertainment business both prior to and after his stint at Microsoft speaks for itself. He has been largely credited with helping Microsoft to turn its Xbox business around and making it profitable.