Don Mattrick was the face of the Xbox One project. You might remember that this project was not terribly popular among gamers, and, marking the second departure from Microsoft after Adam Orth, he’s leaving Microsoft. For Zynga. No, really.
Zynga is, of course, the highly embattled developer of Facebook games, a company so popular with its employees that some recent firing victims threw a party when they found out they were no longer with the company. This almost reads like a bad joke, but apparently it’s true:
These sources added that the high-profile executive is also close to taking a top job at Zynga, the troubled online social gaming company, possibly as its CEO and working in close partnership with its founder and current CEO Mark Pincus. Sources said the announcement of Mattrick’s appointment could be made as soon as today, after the markets close.
To be fair, getting past all the jokes that practically write themselves, Mattrick is a highly experienced games developer and executive. He founded his first software company at 17, and managed to survive at EA for twenty-five years before voluntarily choosing to go out on top, no mean feat in of itself. If anybody can turn around Zynga’s sinking fortunes, and more to the point replace the company’s less-than-beloved CEO, it’s Mattrick. It’s a smart hire for a company struggling to stay afloat, and it might be a turning point for Zynga as a company.
On the other hand, I also have this “Don Mattrick introducing things” image already cut out in GIMP. So, to celebrate his new position, here are some other less-than-popular things Mr. Mattrick has introduced. Hopefully Zynga will see a little more success.