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July 1, 2013 at 11:03 AM
Microsoft entertainment head Don Mattrick going to Zynga [updated]
Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment division, will be social game company Zynga’s CEO starting July 8, Zynga confirmed in a news release.
Mattrick will also become a member of Zynga’s board of directors. Mark Pincus, Zynga’s founding CEO, will remain chairman of the board and Zynga’s chief product officer.
“Don is unique in the game business,” Pincus said in the news release. “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.”
Mattrick, 49, has served as president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment division for three years, and has spent six years at Microsoft overall.
In an email to Microsoft employees, CEO Steve Ballmer said: “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.”
Ballmer credited Mattrick and his team with growing Xbox Live membership from 6 million to 48 million, making the Xbox 360 the top-selling console in North America, and fueling the sales of more than 24 million Kinect sensors.
Don Mattrick, head of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment unit, is reportedly leaving to head game company Zynga — at least according to AllThingsD.
Mattrick could be taking a role as Zynga’s CEO, according to the AllThingsD report, citing multiple sources close to the situation.
Microsoft declined to comment on the issue.