Pincus pursued Xbox chief for several months for Zynga CEO job, source says

The two have known each other for years and there was no formal candidate search, the source said

Zinga's executives each have an avatar that looks uncannily like them. Here's CEO Mark Pincus in front of his.

Zinga's executives each have an avatar that looks uncannily like them. Here's CEO Mark Pincus in front of his.

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus pursued Microsoft's Xbox chief for several months and had no other candidates in mind for the top job at the social games company, a source at Zynga said Monday.

The disclosure shines some light on the process behind the hiring of Don Mattrick, who stepped down as head of Microsoft's Xbox division on Monday to be the new CEO of Zynga. Pincus remains at the company as chairman and chief product officer.

Mattrick was the only candidate for the job and Pincus recruited him for several months for the position, the source said, adding that the two have known each other for years.

The hiring proposal was presented to the board by Pincus and there was no formal candidate search, said the source.

"I joined Zynga because I believe that Mark's pioneering vision and mission to connect the world through games is just getting started," Mattrick said in a blog post Monday afternoon following Zynga's original announcement of the management changes.

"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," he said.

Mattrick, who officially starts at Zynga next week, is leaving his job as president of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, where he helped to drive development and marketing of the Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox Live and Kinect, as well as PC and mobile products. He joined Microsoft in 2007.

Mattrick is credited for his role in developing the "FIFA," "Harry Potter" and "The Sims" game franchises, and for growing Xbox Live members from 6 million to 48 million.

Before Microsoft, Mattrick worked at Electronic Arts, most recently as president of the game publisher's worldwide studios. At 17, Mattrick founded the company Distinctive Software, which was acquired by EA in 1991.

Pincus said Monday that he would be stepping down as CEO of Zynga, in a letter to employees posted on the Web.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Mobile gamesInternet-based applications and servicesXboxgamesXbox360online servicesinternetmobilemobile applicationsGame platformsZyngaMicrosoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?