Xbox head Don Mattrick announced as Zynga CEO


Matt Hadden (Twitter, Google+)
1st Jul 2013, 9:53pm

Zynga, the company behind various different social games has confirmed that former Xbox executive Don Mattrick will be joining them as the company's new CEO.

Mark Pincus, founder of Zynga, said the following in the press release. He will stay on as chairman of the board and chief product officer.

"Don is unique in the game business."

"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."

In a prepared statement, Mattrick said the following.

"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."

Zynga is currently experiencing declining revenue, companywide studio closures and consolidation. Mattrick hopes that he can help turn the company around.

Pincus sent an e-mail to all his employees to announce that Mattrick will be joining them as the company's new CEO.

To our Zynga employees, players and shareholders,

Today is a big day. I'm excited to announce that Don Mattrick will be joining us as Zynga's new CEO and member of our Board. I wanted to let you all know why I made the decision to recruit Don and what I think it means for all of us.

Over the last few months I've spent a lot of time thinking about all that we have achieved together as a company. We have pioneered social gaming and helped make Play a core part of millions of people's lives. But Zynga has so much more potential ahead, the opportunity to be an Internet Treasure and deliver on our mission of connecting the world through games.

As I reflect on the past six years, I realize that I've had the greatest impact working as an entrepreneur with product teams, developing games that could entertain and connect millions.

I've always said to Bing and our Board that if I could find someone who could do a better job as our CEO I'd do all I could to recruit and bring that person in. I'm confident that Don is that leader.

If you're not familiar with Don, he's an entertainment and game industry innovator who's been making products and scaling teams and businesses for the last 30 years. Don's had major leadership roles at Microsoft, Electronic Arts and Distinctive Software, which he founded when he was 17 years old.

Don is unique in the game business. 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.

Going forward I'll continue in my role as Chairman and Chief Product Officer. 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.

Don officially starts next week; however he'll be joining me tomorrow to host an All-Hands meeting so you can all have an opportunity to meet him and ask any questions. Please feel free as always to post your questions and vote up questions on our Zyntranet here.

Thanks and see you tomorrow.

Mark

Mattrick was responsible for Microsoft's Xbox business including the Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Live. He revealed the next-gen Xbox One in May and since then he has received plenty of comments from unhappy Xbox owners about the new system.

Could Don be jumping ship to possibly get rid of some of the backlash that the Xbox One has bought his way? No one will ever know I don't think but I'm sure there will be plenty of speculation around. What do you think? Let us know below!

Source: Polygon


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