Zynga, a leading developer of social games and services, on Monday announced that it has appointed Don Mattrick as chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors, effective July 8, 2013. Mattrick has been at the forefront of the industry and brings more than 30 years of executive experience developing, building and managing profitable entertainment businesses. Mark Pincus will remain the chairman of the company.
“Don is unique in the game business. He can execute in multiple domains – hardware, software and network, and he has 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 is 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,” said Marc Pincus, the founder of Zynga.
Don Mattrick, 49, 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% 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 groundbreaking Kinect entertainment products and PC and mobile interactive entertainment. Mr. Mattrick served as the president of worldwide studios at Electronic Arts. At age 17, Mattrick founded his first company, Distinctive Software, which was acquired by Electronic Arts in 1991.
“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. 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 am proud to partner with Mark to deliver high-quality, fun, social games wherever people want to play,” said Mr. Mattrick.
Don Mattrick will report directly to the board and was unanimously appointed CEO. After Mr. Mattrick leaves Microsoft, chief executive officer will oversee interactive entertainment business before a permanent replacement is found.