Don Mattrick leaving Microsoft for Zynga

Xbox One executive leaving Microsoft for Farmville creator.

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Update: Don Mattrick has left Microsoft and joined social gaming giant Zynga as its new CEO, the company has confirmed. The former president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business division and overseer of the upcoming Xbox One will join the Farmville developer on June 8, and will take a seat on the company's board, Zynga confirmed in a press release.

Mark Pincus and Don Mattrick.

Zynga founder and former CEO Mark Pincus will remain chairman of the board and chief product officer at the company. "Don is unique in the game business," said Pincus. "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."

"I joined Zynga because I believe that [Pincus'] pioneering vision and mission to connect the world through games is just getting started," added Mattrick. "Zynga is a great business that has yet to realize its full potential."

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer responded to news of Mattrick's exit via an e-mail to all employees. "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."

"Thank you, Don, for setting us on a path to completely redefine the entertainment industry," continued Ballmer. "The strong leadership team at IEB and their teams are well positioned to deliver the next-generation entertainment console, as well as transformative entertainment experiences, long into the future."

Original Story: Xbox president Don Mattrick is leaving Microsoft and is close to taking the role of CEO at social gaming giant Zynga, All Things Digital reports.

Sources close to All Things Digital said the official announcement of Mattrick's appointment could be made as early as today, and that the executive has been in discussions with Zynga about the role for some time. The site adds that Mattrick has also been one of the front-runners to step into the currently vacant CEO position at EA.

As president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business department, Mattrick recently unveiled the Xbox One to the world at the company's May reveal of its next-generation console, but had to publicly change the console's heavily criticized policies after consumer backlash.

He joined Microsoft from EA in 2007.

Zynga, which is responsible for the social gaming title Farmville, has had a shaky time since it made the company public.

Microsoft was not immediately available for comment.

Discussion

2536 comments
Revl8n
Revl8n

Maybe he should run for Congress.

Setzera
Setzera

I must've missed the first time around, but he went from EA, to MS, and now to Zynga.. good lord, he is a destructive force.

The-Dark-Slayer
The-Dark-Slayer

Don Mattrick biggest  Joker  around  all you do to me  is  Talk talk

tevic
tevic

Don Mattrick kicked out of MS: GREAT news !!!!!!!

cowscowscows
cowscowscows

What the fuck is up with how Zynga exists?  I mean, every one of their god damn games is just a little pile of bull shit.  None of them has any content to speak of, they are just absolutely simple and boring games that any entry level programmer should be able to do with 30 minutes time and an energy drink.  Yet they come out with shit that has DRM, microtransactions a plenty, and yet people praise those motherfuckers?  Why?  I don't get this.  Any other gaming company (I'm looking at you EA) does this and they get a total shit storm.  It is all of the non-gamers playing games on facebook that even keep this bad company afloat.  People should not be shelling out dozens, or even hundreds of dollars for some piece of crap that cost $20 to make.  That is ridiculous.

And another thing.  On my PC, every $ I am forced to make is the peso symbol!  An S with a single line through it is the peso symbol.  An S with two lines through it is the dollar symbol!  This infuriates me because I am not talking about pesos, I am talking about USD!  I don't want to have to differentiate USD or peso or soles or reias or euros or pounds or whatever else I am using.  They need to be more willing to allow me to use actual characters that I am going to be wanting to use.  If I were a mexican, sure this keyboard might be much better (except that there are no accents over any of the letters, so that would make it worse) but I am not!  This is why Microsoft is evil.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

Just proves that you don't have to know chit about this industry and be successful..

Mr-Kutaragi
Mr-Kutaragi

Fall man. A good man, I hope he perform well in new job.

tachsniper
tachsniper

hey Don at least when the internet goes out at Zynga HQ you can always play an Xbox 360.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

forced out lol. he is going to put the final nail on the zynga coffin. what a bad choice for both.

Elem187
Elem187

You can fire the guy who designed it, but if you keep the same crappy decisions, what has changed really? You only changed the face of the product, but what good is that if the product still sucks?

Its not gamers only despised having a lawyer like sleezeball sell them a games console, but they also disliked all the policies as well... DRM, Kinect always connected, paying for online play, and Microsoft recently being named in the US governments spying program, which ties in back to the kinect always having to be plugged in at all times.

I don't see anything different about xBone then when the sleezy lawyer was running the show. So seriously, what has changed?

I'm going to stick to my original decision I made after E3, I will buy and build a new PC and pick up a Wii U because both Microsoft and Sony don't deserve my money this generation.

Zloth2
Zloth2

He's going to join on June 8th?  Ummm... of next year?

DEATH775
DEATH775

LOL good luck to the people who is playing farmville and other games from zynga :)

pdevil21
pdevil21

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Skymoses
Skymoses

Does this mean i'll have to check in on my farmville farm every day to avoid all my animals killing themselves, will farmville be able to watch me on my webcam, just kidding... I don't play farmville and now I have one more reason not to

heat_masheet
heat_masheet

why does he look like he's holding in a sh!+?

hardcorecasualz
hardcorecasualz

Casual games are a TRAIN WRECK!

I'm a casual gamer playing hardcore games cuz they are actually decent at all.

and also... TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV

Zero_resistance
Zero_resistance

Look at his face in the pictures above.  It looks like he left a silent fart as he left (or he just shit himself).

Zero_resistance
Zero_resistance

...And the first rat leaves the sinking ship

He's probably the one that came up with all the Xboners bad policies

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

What are the requirements of a gaming CEO anyway?

1) Never played a video game.

2) All ideas loathed by 99% of gamers.

3) SUPER greed, mixed with phony persona.

LE5LO
LE5LO

"Don, sell Zynga and give yourself a big piece of the pie! Leave nothing but crumbs for the shareholders!" - Jason Rubin.

QTEseven
QTEseven

Zinga what? "Don is unique in the game business,to destroy gaming business"

He's one of the top executives in the overall entertainment business"  so Xbox one backslash everywhere is sucess? please hire me!

He is going now murder Zinga 


DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

He was tying to bring the Zynga model to XB1, thank goodness he failed.

Shelledfade1
Shelledfade1

Talk about falling off the high horse. LOL!!!!!!!!!  Anyway, the idiot probably belongs on farmville anyway.

zpluffy
zpluffy

first adam now don...Who's next?

xXxIRyanxXx
xXxIRyanxXx

@Mr-Kutaragi He should be the one to take the fall after he told the military to go screw itself and play the 360 instead of being able to buy next gen. Microsofts entire PR department should be fired for the announcement of X1 because it has been a complete disaster. 

CaveManCobb
CaveManCobb

@Elem187 Can you link to where they are named in the "US governments spying program"? I think you are just pulling that out of your ass.

Elem187
Elem187

@BlackLense Hopefully the Windows 8 designer they just put on xBone.... great, all we need now is a menu system so confusing that nobody will want to use the device.

dpclark
dpclark

@somatzu

Correction: That face needs to appear next to the dictionary entry for "ex-lax"

pdevil21
pdevil21

Nevermind, wrong article.

ggregd
ggregd

@Skymoses Actually, if you don't check your farm every day your crops die.  That must have attracted him to them.

Elem187
Elem187

@Zero_resistance perhaps, but the xBone is so far along that not much is going to change between now and release date.

I mean, one of the biggest problems they are going to have competing is the system is 50% slower than the PS4, yet its still going to be $100 more expensive.... They really thought gamers would just love to have the cloud so much that they wouldn't mind paying extra for a slower system.

Elem187
Elem187

@zpluffy The new lady who they just hired to take up the new xBone will be the next to go... She will realize the challenge is too great, this product is going to fail hard.

Elem187
Elem187

@dpclark @somatzu Put his picture next to the word "Lawyer"

If Hollywood ever needed a lawyer to type cast, this guy is it.