On Monday, July 1st, it was revealed that Microsoft's Xbox boss and President of the company's Interactive Entertainment division, Don Mattrick, had left the software giant to become the CEO of Zynga. But did you know that while Mattrick worked for Microsoft back in 2010, the software giant was working on purchasing Zynga.
Back in 2010, Don Mattrick, a Microsoft employee at the time, was negotiating with Zynga's founder Mark Pincus about acquiring the company and adding social games such as FarmVille into the Xbox lineup. These social games were adding millions of users to Facebook each week. Unfortunately, the negotiations fell though for some reason and the acquisition never happened.
Now that Mattrick is the CEO at Zynga, his new job entails bringing Zynga out of the gutter since the company lost its top spot on Facebook to King.com. "Mattrick faces two challenges. He has to find a way to turn around a company that went from cool to cold, and he has work out his relationship to Mark Pincus, who won’t be CEO but will be in control," Erik Gordon adds. He's a business professor at the University of Michigan.
Zynga's revenue fell 18% during the first quarter and the company has shut down offices and canned games as the company shifts its focus towards mobile gaming. With his experience working for EA and Microsoft, Mattrick has the leadership and experience to make it happen for Zynga, but only time will tell!