Trade Resources Company News Microsoft Executive Don Mattrick as Left The Seattle Company to Join Zynga as CEO

Microsoft Executive Don Mattrick as Left The Seattle Company to Join Zynga as CEO

Microsoft executive Don Mattrick as left the Seattle company to join social games firm Zynga as CEO, with Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer stepping in to fill the vacant position of head of interactive entertainment.

It's a move that essentially puts Ballmer in charge of Microsoft's upcoming next-generation Xbox One console, set to be released later this year. Mattrick was the figurehead of Xbox One and personally revealed it at its official unveiling earlier this year.

Further reading Microsoft Build 2013: Xbox One and Windows Phone get Unity support Microsoft investing in $700m data centre to power Xbox One Zynga cuts staff numbers by one-fifth as it struggles with mobile gaming

However, following its launch, the console was plagued by issues regarding its DRM, which required users to be online in order to play games in an effort to restrict second-hand sales of games. Mattrick told doubters that those who wanted an offline-mode could do that with the current Xbox 360, before Microsoft was forced to make a U-turn on its DRM policies in an effort to win back disillusioned fans who were considering ditching Microsoft in favour of Sony's PlayStation 4, also set to launch later this year.

Mattrick is set to begin his role at Zynga on 8 July, working alongside co-founder Mark Pincus, who is staying on as chairman and chief product officer.

"Zynga is a great business that has yet to realize its full potential," Mattrick said in an email to employees.

"I'm really proud to partner with a product focused founder like Mark and work with the executive team to grow the DNA of the company and lead this transition.

"More than 1 billion people have installed a Zynga game across web and mobile and popular franchises like FarmVille and Words With Friends are a daily habit for millions of people. It's a staggering milestone that speaks to the mass market opportunity ahead of all of us," Mattrick added.

In a separate email to Microsoft employees, Steve Ballmer said he's now head of interactive entertainment staff.

"Zynga announced today that Don Mattrick would be its new CEO, effective July 8. This is a great opportunity for Don, and I wish him success. Don's directs will report to me and will continue to drive the day-to-day business as a team, particularly focused on shipping Xbox One this holiday," wrote Ballmer.

"I'm particularly excited about how Xbox pushes forward our devices and services transformation by bringing together the best of Microsoft," he added.

Microsoft is reportedly in the middle of restructuring its senior management in an effort to reduce the number of major business units from eight to four.

Contribute Copyright Policy
Mattrick Leaves Microsoft for Zynga as Ballmer Takes Over xBox One Project