Microsoft's Don Mattrick to leave and take top position at Zynga? [Updated]
Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment unit, is leaving the company, according to a report over on AllThingsD. Multiple sources close to the situation have confirmed that the high-profile executive is close to snapping up a position at Zynga. The studio is currently struggling against waning consumer business on the web and Facebook while slowly transitioning to mobile. The company has had to work through layoffs and the closure of offices outside its San Francisco headquarters.
Should Zynga founder Mark Pincus appoint Mattrick as a new CEO, it would certainly reinforce his desire to revive Zynga and get the ball rolling again. As well as Zynga, the Microsoft executive has also been tied to Electranic Arts, another gaming giant that's facing a rough challenge - continuously rated as one of the worst companies by consumers.
One would immediate assume that the departure of Mattrick would be down to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's restructuring plans at the company, but sources suggest talks between Mattrick and Zynga have been ongoing for some time. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out since he's has been the face of the new Xbox One, as well as who Microsoft will look to replace him with should the exec leave Redmond.
Update: Yahoo! reports that Zynga has appointed Don Mattrick as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors, effective July 8th. Mattrick will report directly to the Board and was unanimously appointed CEO. Mattrick will join Pincus in a newly formed Executive Committee to manage the operations and affairs of the Company between Board meetings. Looks like it's official, folks.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
By Jez Corden
he was also there during 360 launch and made it a household name.
andd maybe he is just not important for the rumored reorganization Microsoft is going to get. I dont know, and i kinda dont care. I dont think Mattrick would be missed because the next person is going to be good/better.
Look at Windows division, sinosfky stopped working at Microsoft and Win 8.1 looks amazing and works amazing and feels amazing. so its not like anyone is missing him or he was the only person that could be president. so Xbox and other entertainment products Im sure would be better and better over the years with next president or whatever name they give to next person in charge.
I get the architecture changed so the games can't be played, but always wondered if the 5% stat was really from research or from some tool just tossing out his dismissive, informal opinion.
Meanwhile, my kids still play 360 Kinect games, none of which are slated for replacement on the One or I'd necessarily run out and buy. So, while the blu-ray capability on the One will allow me to ditch the blu-ray player from the receiver/entertainment center, I'm still having to cross my fingers that PDP makes some sort of Kinect, Kinect, Wii U sensor bar mount tower. I know...I know: #firstworldwoes, but my point is that this guy was too dismissive that a) you wouldn't need the 360 or b) you can easily hook them both up.
In short, he rubbed me wrong as well. Good riddance. On the flip side, maybe this would get more Zynga games to WP and Windows 8, giving more attention to the platform to others that care for their games. Today, they don't even recognize MS platforms on their site. (Look, moderators, I made a nice segue to steer the topic back to WP as opposed to Xbox!)
He's likely under permanent NDA to never talk about Xbox One stuff that he knows about but hasn't been said.
I think Don should have a good time at Zynga... he can either put the final nail in that coffin -- F*** you Farmville! -- or he can be an Elop-type who partners with Xbox and Windows Phone to bring all those games to Xbox as exclusives. Either way, Microsoft wins.
He is intelligent and he communicates well.