Xbox boss Don Mattrick joins Zynga

Xbox boss Don Mattrick joins Zynga

Don Mattrick

Updated: It has now been confirmed that Don Mattrick is to be the new CEO of Zynga, replacing Mark Pincus who will stay on as chairman of the board and take on the job of chief product officer.

Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, has sent out a letter to employees acknowledging Mattrick's departure. The full transcript is at the bottom of the page.

Don Mattrick, the head of Microsoft's entertainment - i.e. Xbox - division is reportedly set to leave the company to take up a senior role at online games company Zynga.

The news follows a string of PR disasters for both Mattrick - as the face of the Xbox One launch - and Microsoft, after the Xbox One was revealed with a raft of unpopular features.

Such was the backlash against the device that a couple of weeks after its reveal Mattrick took to the official Xbox blog to announce Microsoft would be scrapping many of the controversial features.

However, it is as yet unclear whether Mattrick is leaving because of these issues or if it is simply the next logical step for his career. According to the sources that talked to AllThingsD he could be taking up a position as CEO of Zynga, which would certainly suggest that company is confident in his abilities.

Mattrick has also apparently been on the short list of top execs being considered for the top job at Electronic Arts (EA), the company he previously left to join Microsoft. Both EA and Zynga have had their own issues recently with Zynga loosing value after its IPO and EA struggling to return to profit so both would be prime candidates for Mattrick to sweep in and turn around their fortunes.

Steve Ballmer:

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.

Since joining IEB more than six years ago, Don and his team have accomplished much. Xbox Live members grew from 6 million to 48 million. Xbox 360 became the No. 1 selling console in North America the past two years. We introduced Kinect and have sold more than 24 million sensors. We released fantastic games, and, most importantly, we expanded Xbox to go beyond great gaming to deliver all the entertainment people want — sports, music, movies, live television and much more.

In the past month, the IEB team showed for the first time here on our Redmond campus, and again at E3, how we are going to continue to transform entertainment with Xbox One. I am incredibly proud of the work and vision culminating in Xbox One.

I’m particularly excited about how Xbox pushes forward our devices and services transformation by bringing together the best of Microsoft. The consoles are incredible all-in-one devices with built-in services that consumers love, including Bing, Xbox Live, Internet Explorer, SkyDrive and Skype. And, just as important, Xbox Games, Xbox Video, Xbox Music and SmartGlass light up Windows PCs, tablets and phones.

Thank you, Don, for setting us on a path to completely redefine the entertainment industry. The strong leadership team at IEB and their teams are well positioned to deliver the next-generation entertainment console, as well as transformative entertainment experiences, long into the future.



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Hustler 1st July 2013, 19:32 Quote

..don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Valinor 1st July 2013, 20:04 Quote
Considering what was spewing from him during E3 and after, I can't say I'm surprised.
fix-the-spade 1st July 2013, 21:49 Quote

It's official.

For executives who don't get good PR Microsoft already has a really good option, it's called the door. Bye Don, at east at Zynga you won't have to keep up the pretense of service in your unceasing efforts to screw people.
r3loaded 2nd July 2013, 08:33 Quote
I think Nerf Now captured it perfectly.
Phalanx 2nd July 2013, 08:36 Quote
Thank god for that! Now put someone in who doesn't spout crap every few minutes and we're golden!
Thedarkrage 2nd July 2013, 08:39 Quote
Originally Posted by Phalanx
Thank god for that! Now put someone in who doesn't spout crap every few minutes and we're golden!

ha ha ha they have ballmer running the show now so umm yeah they be ****ed
Phalanx 2nd July 2013, 08:43 Quote
Originally Posted by Thedarkrage
ha ha ha they have ballmer running the show now so umm yeah they be ****ed

I actually think Balmer's not too bad. Sure, he gets overexcited about things, but that's no biggie. We'll see who they put in Mattrick's place I guess.
Corky42 2nd July 2013, 09:47 Quote
It surprises me anyone wants anything to do with this guy, while working at EA his own company was acquired by EA of course nothing fishy there *cough*
EA doesn't exactly have +Rep with consumers, then he joins Microsoft and we all know how he put his foot in his mouth there. He should fit right in at Zynga judging by the way they operate.
miller 2nd July 2013, 11:07 Quote
"One in 25 business leaders may be a psychopath"
Psychopaths use charm and manipulation to achieve success in the workplace, according to a US study.
The study, conducted by the New York psychologist Paul Babiak, suggests that they disguise the condition by hiding behind their high status, playing up their charm and by manipulating others.

The survey suggests psychopaths are actually poor managerial performers but are adept at climbing the corporate ladder because they can cover up their weaknesses by subtly charming superiors and subordinates.
This makes it almost impossible to distinguish between a genuinely talented team leader and a psychopath, Babiak said. Hare told Horizon: "The higher the psychopathy, the better they looked – lots of charisma and they talk a good line.

"But if you look at their actual performance and ratings as a team player and productively, it's dismal. Looked good, performed badly.
They can tell what you're thinking, they can look at your body language, they can listen to what you're saying, but what they don't really do is feel what you feel.

"What this allows them to do is use words to manipulate and con and to interact with you without the baggage of feeling your pain.

I think MS has more than their fair share
Corky42 2nd July 2013, 11:43 Quote
Originally Posted by miller
"One in 25 business leaders may be a psychopath"

Hear comes Don'y
RedFlames 2nd July 2013, 11:46 Quote
So he's left a ship he torpedoed for one that's just about sunk...
smc8788 2nd July 2013, 18:17 Quote
Is it just me or does this guy have one of those faces you just want to punch...
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