AllThingsD broke the story earlier today, but Zynga has officially confirmed it. Don Mattrick is leaving Microsoft as the President of Interactive Entertainment, which includes the Xbox division, and becoming Zynga’s new CEO and board member. Mark Pincus will continue as Zynga’s Chairman and Chief Product Officer.
Don is unique in the game business. He can execute in multiple domains – hardware, software and network, and he’s 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’s a great coach who has inspired people to do their best work and build strong, productive teams.
Microsoft is rumored to be gearing up for a major reorganization, but according to multiple sources, Mattrick’s departure is not part of that shake-up and his move has been planned for months. Mattrick’s first duties at Zynga will likely be to address the company’s financial issues. Zynga has struggled as much of its audience has drifted to other distractions.
Microsoft has not announced who will take over Mattrick’s post.