Zynga names Don Mattrick as new CEO

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jul 02, 2013

Don Mattrick

Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus on Monday, said he is handing over the reins of the social games company, to Microsoft entertainment division chief, Don Mattrick from next week. After the announcement, Zynga’s shares jumped more than 10 percent to $3.17.

Pincus, in a letter to employees said: “I’ve always said (to the Zynga 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.”

The struggling social games company Zynga announced in June, that it was cutting nearly a fifth of its staff as it refocuses on games for mobile devices. Zynga has been investing in titles for play on smartphones or tablets, as well as its own online arena at zynga.com.

Zynga reached dizzying heights of popularity by customizing games for Facebook users and friends.  But the two firms have grown apart in the past year as Facebook develops new revenue streams and Zynga seeks new consumers.

Mattrick was recently at the centre of a controversy surrounding the plans over new-generation Xbox One consoles. Xbox One consoles will supposedly now require Internet connections and new restrictions have been applied on playing second-hand game disks.