Don Mattrick has left Zynga with Founder Mark Pincus returning to the role of CEO effective immediately.
Less than two years since Mattrick took the CEO seat at Zynga after leaving Microsoft’s Xbox division the decision to leave and return to Canada for his “next challenge”.
Mattrick commented on the departure and his time at the social games developer
When I joined the company in July 2013, Mark and I shared a vision of building a meaningful company that redefines entertainment in an increasingly mobile world. I am proud of the progress we have made together. I believe the timing is now right for me to leave as CEO and let Mark lead the company into its next chapter given his passion for the founding vision and his ability to couple our mobile progress with Zynga’s unique strengths. As a company, Zynga is in a stronger position today to serve mobile consumers and take advantage of the unprecedented growth opportunity across our industry. I am excited about the company’s trajectory and wish the best for Mark, Zynga and NaturalMotion as I plan to return to Canada to pursue my next challenge.
Pincus praised Mattrick for leading Zynga to become a mobile first company increasing Zynga’s mobile bookings from 27% when he joined the company to 60% at the end of last year.
Now that we are a mobile first company, it’s time to renew our focus on our founding mission to connect the world through games and our vision to make play and social games a mass market activity,” Pincus said. “I am returning to the company that I love in order to accelerate innovation in the most popular categories like Action Strategy and strengthen our focus on our core areas like Invest and Express. I look forward to partnering with our leaders to intensify our focus on social experiences for the millions of consumers who play our games.
It wasn’t all increases and profits during Mattrick’s reign as BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield had previously called for Mattrick to be fired after the company posted a $226 million loss during a period that Mattrick called “a year of progress.”
Zynga also acknowledged that Pincus has requested an annual salary of just $1 while serving as CEO.