Don Mattrick, the former CEO of Xbox Division at Microsoft who left to take up the same position at mobile gaming company Zynga, has stepped down from Zynga as Mark Pincus returns to the mantel.
Pincus spoke at length about the departure and his own return to the company:
Don joined us in a very important time in our evolution. I sincerely thank him for his leadership in better serving our players in a mobile first world and for delivering world class quality and value to our consumers. The team’s hard work for our mobile players has resulted in bookings growing from 27% mobile bookings when Don joined to 60% by the end of last year. Further, to deliver unique and differentiated value to our mobile players, Don and the team acquired NaturalMotion. NaturalMotion has surprised and delighted the world with Clumsy Ninja and CSR Racing resulting in more than 160 million installs to date. I am inspired by our upcoming products — it is the most exciting slate of mobile games in Zynga’s history with titles like Empires & Allies, Dawn of Titans and FarmVille: Harvest Swap. These games are coming on the heels of one of the most successful mobile launches in our history with Wizard of Oz Slots, which was launched this past November by our Spooky Cool team in Chicago.
Now that we are a mobile first company, it’s time to renew our focus on our founding mission to connect the world through games and our vision to make play and social games a mass market activity. I am returning to the company that I love in order to accelerate innovation in the most popular categories like Action Strategy and strengthen our focus on our core areas like Invest and Express. I look forward to partnering with our leaders to intensify our focus on social experiences for the millions of consumers who play our games.
Don Mattrick also spoke out about his retirement from Zynga:
When I joined the company in July 2013, Mark and I shared a vision of building a meaningful company that redefines entertainment in an increasingly mobile world. I am proud of the progress we have made together. I believe the timing is now right for me to leave as CEO and let Mark lead the company into its next chapter given his passion for the founding vision and his ability to couple our mobile progress with Zynga’s unique strengths. As a company, Zynga is in a stronger position today to serve mobile consumers and take advantage of the unprecedented growth opportunity across our industry. I am excited about the company’s trajectory and wish the best for Mark, Zynga and NaturalMotion as I plan to return to Canada to pursue my next challenge.
Finally, the CFO David Lee also chimed in with his own thoughts:
Q1 was a strong quarter and we are confident in the outlook we gave during our Q4 2014 earnings call on February 12, 2015. Our teams are heads down and focused on our mobile-first product slate and we will be sharing details related to our product progress and financial performance during our Q1 earnings call on May 7, 2015.
At his request, Pincus will receive an annual salary of $1 with his appointment to Chief Executive Officer.