Microsoft Xbox boss takes up Zynga controls

GAMES publisher Zynga will replace chief executive Mark Pincus with Microsoft executive Don Mattrick, who heads Microsoft’s critical Xbox business, Zynga announced yesterday.

The news, reported earlier by AllThingsD, sent Zynga shares up more than 11 per cent earlier in the day. Stocks closed up 10.4 per cent at $3.07 on the Nasdaq.

Pincus, 47, who controls a 61 per cent voting stake in the gaming company he founded in 2007, will remain chairman of the company.

Zynga had a meteoric rise as it became one of the top games on Facebook. But it has struggled to maintain momentum since its IPO. The firm recently laid off more than 500 employees to cut costs.

Mattrick, whose previous title was Microsoft president of Interactive Entertainment Business, said in a statement: “I joined Zynga because I believe that Mark’s pioneering vision and mission to connect the world through games is just getting started.”

“Zynga is a great business that has yet to realise its full potential. I’m proud to partner with Mark to deliver high-quality, fun, social games wherever people want to play.”