Former Xbox Boss Don Mattrick Leaves Zynga

Founder and chairman Mark Pincus will take over as CEO, earning a $1/year salary.

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Zynga CEO Don Mattrick, a former Xbox executive, is leaving the social gaming company. San Francisco-based Zynga, creator of franchises as FarmVille and Words With Friends, announced the news Wednesday.

Mattrick's departure from the company is effective immediately--and he's also no longer on the board of directors. He originally joined Zynga as its CEO in July 2013, leaving his senior management post at Microsoft to join the firm just a few months before the launch of the Xbox One.

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Company chairman and founder Mark Pincus will step into the role of CEO, earning the same $1/year salary he made when he was the top executive of the company years ago.

“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," Pincus said in a statement.

Though Zynga sales are down, Pincus said the company has a formidable lineup of upcoming titles, including the ambitious-looking Dawn of Titans.

"I am inspired by our upcoming products," he said. "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."

Addressing his own return to the role of Zynga CEO, Pincus said: "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."

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