Mark Pincus may have founded Zynga but his days as the CEO of the faltering social gaming company have come to an end. Pincus on Monday revealed that he has stepped down as the company’s CEO and will instead take over as Chief Product Officer.
Taking over for Pincus is 49-year-old Don Mattrick.
Launched in 2007 Zynga was a massive hit in the early days of Facebook gaming, however after going public to rave reviews in 2011 the company began to watch its market share deteriorate. Pincus led Zynga through some very bad decisions including the acquisition of OMGPOP for $200 million.
In a note to staff members on Monday Pincus, 47, wrote:
“As I reflect on the past six years, I realize that I’ve had the greatest impact working as an entrepreneur with product teams, developing games that could entertain and connect millions. I’ve always said to … that if I could find someone who could do a better job as our CEO I’d do all I could to recruit and bring that person in.”
“I’m confident that Don is that leader … [H]e’s a great coach who has inspired people to do their best work and build strong, productive teams.”
As the company’s new CEO Mattrick brings valuable experience to his new leadership role. Mattrick spent six years as the head of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, a division that includes the company’s very successful Xbox gaming console. Mattrick has also worked at Electronic Arts where he helped develop Need for Speed and The Sims.
In his own note to Zynga employees Don Mattrick said:
“I joined Zynga because I believe that Mark’s pioneering vision and mission to connect the world through games is just getting started. As Mark was recruiting me to come here, I was impressed by his creativity, drive and the clarity in which he sees the future of games and entertainment as a core consumer experience.”
You can read Mattrick’s full memo to employees at AllThings.
Mattrick takes over the Zynga CEO role tomorrow and Mark Pincus will remain as a member of the social gaming company’s board of directors.
[Image via Wikipedia / Joi Ito]