Confirmed: Don Mattrick leaves Microsoft, named CEO of Zynga
The earlier rumor that Don Mattrick would be leaving Microsoft to work at Zynga is true. Zynga Inc. confirmed today that the company has appointed Don Mattrick as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors, effective July 8, 2013.
"Don is unique in the game business," said company founder Mark Pincus, who will continue his role as Chairman and Chief Product Officer. "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 in 41 countries. 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."
Mattrick spent six years as Microsoft. The last three he spent as president of the Interactive Entertainment Business, which centers on the Xbox and all of Microsoft's gaming and entertainment efforts. In that role, he was responsible for the team that grew Microsoft's Xbox 360 global installed base by 700 percent to more than 75 million consoles.
"In its short history, Zynga has redefined entertainment and brought social gaming to the mainstream. More than 1 billion people across web and mobile have installed Zynga games, and franchises like FarmVille and Words With Friends have become a part of people's daily lives," said Mattrick. "I joined Zynga because I believe that Mark's pioneering vision and mission to connect the world through games is just getting started. Zynga is a great business that has yet to realize its full potential. I'm proud to partner with Mark to deliver high-quality, fun, social games wherever people want to play."
Is Zynga's decision to name Don Mattrick the Chief Executive Officer a smart one? More importantly, how will this news affect Microsoft and the reception of the Xbox One?