Xbox President Mattrick Leaving for Zynga

Don Mattrick departing for social gaming firm, it has been confirmed.

UPDATE 3: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has issued a statement to employees on the departure of Mattrick.

Says Ballmer, "Zynga announced today that Don Mattrick would be its new CEO, effective July 8. This is a great opportunity for Don, and I wish him success. Don's directs will report to me and will continue to drive the day-to-day business as a team, particularly focused on shipping Xbox One this holiday."

Based on the memo it would seem Ballmer is assuming direct control of the Xbox business. It's not clear if this is an interim measure though it may be a result of the controversy surrounding the Xbox One's announcement.

UPDATE 2: Zynga has issued an offical statement confirming that Mattrick is to be appointed as Zynga's CEO from July 8th.

Mark Pincus, who is resigning as CEO to make way for Mattrick commented, "Today is a big day. I'm excited to announce that Don Mattrick will be joining us as Zynga's new CEO and member of our Board."

Pincus will remain as Chief Product Officer and Chairman of Zynga. Microsoft has not yet announced who will replace him as president of Interactive Entertainment.  

UPDATE 1: FastCompany reports that Zynga has confirmed that Mattrick is to leave Microsoft for the company. 

ORIGINAL STORY: The Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD has reported that Don Mattrick, the president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Division – which oversees Xbox – is leaving the company to become a senior executive of troubled social gaming firm Zynga – possibly even the CEO of the company.

It was recently suggested that Mattrick could be promoted as a result of a shake-up at Microsoft but that was before E3 and the subsequent fallout over the company's since-abandoned Xbox One policies. It's not clear if Mattrick was denied a promotion as a result of the E3 debacle or whether Microsoft were aware of his plans to leave the company and offered him a larger role as an incentive to stay.

His departure, which has not been confirmed at the current time, comes mere months before Microsoft is set to launch the Xbox One and his abscence may impact upon the company's strategy. 

Mattrick was strongly criticised following E3 for a number of interviews he gave in which he said Microsoft were "over-delivering value" with the Xbox One. He also told those who would have been negatively affected by the Xbox One's original policy, which required a daily internet connection, to "get a 360".  

The Xbox One is set to be released in November for $499. As a result of the reports surrounding Mattrick shares in Zynga have risen by almost 10 per cent today with AllThingsD's sources reporting talks between the two parties have been ongoing for some time.

Mattrick has been at Microsoft since 2007 and is also believed to be in the running to become EA's CEO following the retirement of John Riccitiello earlier this year. 

Source: AllThingsD.

Via: CVG