Don Mattrick Leaves Xbox, Becomes Zynga CEO (Updated)
Don Mattrick, the former head of Microsoft Xbox, has officially left the company to become CEO of Zynga games. Zynga announced the hiring in a statement after the markets closed on Monday.
The former president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment unit will become CEO of struggling online social gaming company Zynga effective July 8.
"Don is unique in the game business," Mark Pincus, founder, chairman and chief product officer of Zynga said in a statement. "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 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," Pincus continued. "And he has grown the Xbox Live player network from 6 to 50 million active members in 41 countries."
Zynga, the company behind "Words With Friends" and "FarmVille," has had a difficult time transitioning to mobile platforms as its once strong web consumer business has been struggling. The company recently underwent layoffs and office closures.
Xbox recently received some bad press on the heels of its E3 announcement of restrictions for the upcoming next generation console, the Xbox One. The company reacted to public blowback by removing those restrictions.
"I joined Zynga because I believe that Mark's pioneering vision and mission to connect the world through games is just getting started," Mattrick said in the statement. "Zynga is a great business that has yet to realize its full potential."