Key Microsoft Exec May Be Headed for Game Company

Jul 1, 2013  •  Post A Comment

A top executive at Microsoft Corp. may be headed for a new position with a game company. Reuters, citing a report by AllThingsD, reports that Microsoft’s Don Mattrick could take over as CEO of Zynga.

The news that Zynga may be about to push out Chief Executive Mark Pincus reportedly sent Zynga share prices 10% lower.

"Mattrick, who heads Microsoft’s critical Xbox business as the company’s president of interactive entertainment, could leave Microsoft to join Zynga, possibly as its CEO and is ‘working in close partnership with its founder and current CEO Mark Pincus,’ according to AllThingsD, citing multiple unnamed sources," Reuters reports.

Zynga and Microsoft declined to comment, the piece notes.

Reuters adds: "Pincus, 47, controls a 61 percent voting stake in the gaming company he founded in 2007, according to financial filings from March, and he would have final say over his company’s leadership.

"Zynga’s business model, which relied heavily on selling virtual goods to gamers on Facebook Inc’s platform, began to disintegrate a year ago as users tired of Facebook games. Pincus has been unable to turn around the company named after his pet bulldog, Zinga."

Mattrick helped turn the Xbox operation into a money maker for Microsoft after joining the company in 2007, with the device eventually becoming the best-selling console in the U.S.

"Mattrick’s departure would come just as Microsoft gears up to launch the third version of its console, called the Xbox One. Unveiled in May and scheduled to hit stores later this year, the machine has already stirred up controversy," Reuters reports. "Gamers attacked the high price tag, Microsoft’s plan to require an Internet connection at least once a day and moves to limit sharing of used games. Last month, Microsoft reversed its position on the Internet connection and said it would allow game sharing."

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