Report: Don Mattrick Leaving Microsoft for...Zynga? [UPDATE: It's Official]

Posted by Alex (3091 posts) -

It's official: Don Mattrick is CEO of Zynga. Here's his quote about the move from Zynga's press release on the hire.

"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," said Mattrick. "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'm proud to partner with Mark to deliver high-quality, fun, social games wherever people want to play."


Microsoft's Don Mattrick.

Here's one few saw coming. Don Mattrick, the current head of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment division, may be on his way to another games publisher. That publisher? Troubled social games giant Zynga.

The report, which comes from sources exclusive to All Things D, states that Mattrick is close to accepting a top level position at the company, possibly a CEO role. Zynga founder Mark Pincus is the company's current CEO, though Pincus has had his hands full with layoffs and various controversies since the company went public.

Rumors of shakeups in Microsoft's games division have been kicking around for a while, though most assumed Mattrick would be absorbed into other levels of Microsoft, or possibly take the currently vacant CEO position at EA. Zynga wasn't really on anyone's radar, but it makes a degree of sense, since it would reunite Mattrick with his close friend Bing Gordon, who currently sits on the company's board.

We'll update this story if/when official confirmation arrives.

#1 Posted by lilmoefow (8 posts) -

the fuck?????

#2 Edited by TheRealMoot (521 posts) -

Didn't Zynga get closed down? Was that a thing?

And also; Holy F*ck. This is a shocker.

#3 Edited by Yadilie (390 posts) -

Time for Microsoft to shuffle the deck. Their turn after Sony.

#4 Edited by TheGorilla (232 posts) -

I hope it's true. Send Mattrick off to an irrelevant company. Like sending a spy to a radar post in Alaska.

#5 Posted by radioactivez0r (874 posts) -

"Well, I've done all I can here."

#6 Posted by VarkhanMB (179 posts) -

It seems odd, considering the XBONE was pretty much Mattrick's baby, that he would leave it for Zynga. I wonder if it's just someone looking out for himself and finding a better job (provided this is true), or if it's someone jumping ship on a product. I feel like there's a slight difference.

#7 Posted by JayEH (585 posts) -

Um.... ok.

#8 Edited by MarkWahlberg (4713 posts) -

Yeah, I was under the impression Zynga wasn't around anymore. Huh.

#9 Posted by Mesoian (1618 posts) -

Oh my fucking god, that's poetic.

#10 Posted by iAmJohn (6151 posts) -

@therealmoot: No, they just keep closing down all their satellite studios, most recently killing off OMGPOP (Draw Something) and their Boston and Austin studios.

It makes sense that Matrick might be looking for an out after that report about Balmer's reorganization plans came out that suggests Matrick's position might not be so safe, but going to Zynga would be a turn for the weird.

#11 Posted by hollitz (2076 posts) -

Confirmed: Farmville will now require always onli...oh yeah.

#12 Posted by PurpleSpandex (297 posts) -

Can't fuck up Zynga anymore then they have right?

#13 Posted by wibby (322 posts) -


#14 Posted by dgtlmeatloaf (21 posts) -

J. Allard?????

#15 Edited by Nardak (736 posts) -

Zynga still exists but the company has major financial troubles.

Basically I think that the company expanded too fast and then found out that the games that they developed didnt really produce enough income to support the staff that they had.

Also zynga should have probably concentrated on quality over quantity.

#16 Posted by djou (895 posts) -

I said it before and I'll say it again... WTH is going on behind the scenes at MS? The president of their company is leaving for a failing game publisher months before the launch of their first console in nearly a decade? Yikes!

#17 Edited by Tennmuerti (8352 posts) -

Like i said in the forum post: seems fitting.

#18 Posted by mustachioeugene (544 posts) -

Time for them to start thawing out J. Allard

#19 Posted by Video_Game_King (36566 posts) -

Was Don Mattrick the face of the Xbox One and all its new policies and whatnot? If so, then this sort of makes sense, I guess, since Zynga's into the casual market, too.

#20 Posted by face15 (1368 posts) -

If this turns out to be true then E3 will never be the same again. It's all about dat hair flip.

#21 Posted by MeatSim (10996 posts) -

Weird choice for a new job if it's true.

#22 Edited by JohnHenryEden (31 posts) -

This is what people in the business call a "Future Endeavor"

#23 Posted by NekuSakuraba (7788 posts) -

What the hell, right before a console release?! If this turns out to be true, it will be one hell of a story.

#24 Posted by Milkman (17904 posts) -

This makes too much sense.

#25 Posted by Harabec (86 posts) -

This just seems... odd.

#26 Posted by MindGrinder (47 posts) -

Seems more appropriate for such a tool.

#27 Edited by I_Stay_Puft (4794 posts) -

Say goodbye to that wavery hair, say hello to all that stress.

#28 Posted by kimvidard (40 posts) -

Ohhh, he is going to Zynga! Now I understand the nonsense he has been spurting for the last weeks. He was training for his new job.

It makes good sense after all.

#29 Posted by Abendlaender (2993 posts) -

I'm actually not that surprised to see him leave. After the Xbone failure and his stupid remarks it was rather obvious to me that he will leave MS one way or the other. Why he would go to Zynga....I don't know. And tbh I don't really care.

#30 Posted by plugger603 (36 posts) -

Too bad he didn't "leave" a month ago. Mr. Foot in Mouth

#31 Posted by BaconGames (3775 posts) -

I imagine that such a hard core policy change sort of fundamentally changes the direction of the machine or even what it's capable of doing. Given the shit he's received (and somewhat rightly so) and the reversal, I can see where he doesn't have it in him to keep going and instead go to a position that's probably better for him anyway.

I'm sure the internet will have 3 million metric tons of snark shipped in just for this occasion.

#32 Posted by canucks23 (1079 posts) -

I wonder if he was pressured to leave by MS, after the Xbone PR disaster around e3.

#33 Posted by Nardak (736 posts) -

@djou said:

I said it before and I'll say it again... WTH is going on behind the scenes at MS? The president of their company is leaving for a failing game publisher months before the launch of their first console in nearly a decade? Yikes!

Mattrick is the president of the "interactive entertainment business" but the board of directors includes following people:

Steve Ballmer is the "Chief executive officer". Don Mattrick is one of the senior leaders at Microsoft:

#34 Edited by Smokey_Earhole (474 posts) -

Mattrick to himself in the mirror this morning: "Abandon the motherfucking ship !!"

#35 Posted by Sil3n7 (1343 posts) -

I just see this guy driving sports cars and doing cocaine.

#36 Posted by bassman2112 (991 posts) -

That is some of the funniest news I've heard in a while, and seems totally appropriate. Throw him from the (previously) teetering ship onto a sinking one.

#37 Posted by PsychedelicET (124 posts) -
#38 Posted by Sooty (8195 posts) -

good riddance

#39 Posted by cooljammer00 (2302 posts) -

Was wondering when Mattrick would be pushed out, after the PR debacle of the Xbox One.

#40 Posted by TadThuggish (968 posts) -

Don Mattrick is God's mistake.

#41 Posted by TadThuggish (968 posts) -

sorry that's like the worst thing i've ever said

#42 Posted by OurSin_360 (1044 posts) -

Doesn't seem like the type of guy I'd want to hire to keep my company from sinking tbh. Xbone announcement is probably one of the worst in recent history, I'm sure microsoft wouldn't mind letting him go but i'm not sure why zynga would want him?

#43 Edited by Sanj (2688 posts) -
(click to see animation)

#44 Posted by SargeGulp (244 posts) -

@thegorilla: Except he'll go from making millions of dollars to making millions of dollars, and not be in Alaska.

#45 Posted by Rasmoss (516 posts) -

There is no way he wasn't fired. I thought this had to come after all that has happened.

#46 Posted by MetalGearSunny (7465 posts) -


#47 Edited by Cubical (667 posts) -

Good I saw this coming xbox started to suck when he took over back in 2010 or what ever it has been going downhill until we got to the new xbox crap. He don't know what people want. the xbox one in design and everything else was his final screw up.

That kinect crap mostly started under his control.

the xbox one design sucks balls and all this happend under his watch and direction.

Bring back J allard and peter moore!

J allard is the real deal that is why xbox 360 and the 1st xbox ruled and you could get the fucking oddworld games on the machine back then.

Loading Video...
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That is how you make and launch a fucking game console.

#48 Posted by DeF (5216 posts) -

Seriously, could he have gone to a more perfect company? lol

#49 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19818 posts) -
#50 Posted by paisan13 (160 posts) -

I never liked Don, but whats for sure is that he's not to blame for Microsoft's problems, he's just a spokesperson.

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