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Appeared on: Monday, July 01, 2013
Microsoft Entertainment Head Is New Zynga CEO

Zynga announced today that Don Mattrick would be its new CEO, effective July 8. Previously, Don Mattrick headed Microsoft's critical Xbox business.

Mark Pincus, Zynga's founding chief executive officer, remains Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Product Officer of Zynga.

"Don is unique in the game business," said Mark Pincus, Founder, Chairman and Chief Product Officer. "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's one of the top executives in the overall entertainment business and he's a great coach who has inspired people to do their best work and build strong, productive teams. He deeply understands the value of a network and the importance of creating lifelong consumer relationships. 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. And he has grown the Xbox Live player network from 6 to 50 million active members in 41 countries. Going forward, I'll continue in my role as Chairman and Chief Product Officer. I'm excited to partner with Don and the rest of our team to return Zynga to its leadership role in inventing and growing Play as a core human experience."

"In its short history, Zynga has redefined entertainment and brought social gaming to the mainstream. More than 1 billion people across web and mobile have installed Zynga games, and franchises like FarmVille and Words With Friends have become a part of people?s daily lives," said Mattrick. "I joined Zynga because I believe that Mark's pioneering vision and mission to connect the world through games is just getting started. Zynga is a great business that has yet to realize its full potential. I'm proud to partner with Mark to deliver high-quality, fun, social games wherever people want to play."

Mattrick spent six years at Microsoft - the last three as president of the Interactive Entertainment Business. In that role, he was responsible for the team that grew Microsoft?s Xbox 360 global installed base by 700 percent to more than 75 million consoles. During his six-year tenure at Microsoft, Mattrick also oversaw businesses and services focused on consumer products that included the Kinect entertainment products and PC and mobile interactive entertainment. Mattrick had also served as the president of Worldwide Studios at Electronic Arts.

Mattrick will report directly to the Zynga's 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.

"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," said Steve Ballmer.

Zynga's business model relied on selling virtual goods to gamers on Facebook's platform. However, Facebook games have lost their popularity as users have shifted to playing on mobile devices.


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