Don Mattrick, former Microsoft executive in charge of the Xbox and current CEO at Zynga, has apparently been interested in Zynga for the past few years. Having just left Microsoft a month ago to take over as CEO at Zynga, Mattrick has reportedly been interested in Zynga since 2010, when he tried to acquire the company while at Microsoft.
In 2010, Mattrick negotiated with Zynga’s founder Mark Pincus about buying the gaming company. At the time, Zynga was at the top of its game, with titles like “Farmville” holding over 80 million users. Mattrick was looking to strengthen Microsoft’s Xbox lineup with social games that were already bringing millions of users to Facebook every week. Negotiations obviously fell through, and Zynga has fallen pretty far from popularity.
Since losing its spot as the top game maker on Facebook, Mattrick has taken over from Pincus. The unexpected move comes only four months before the Xbox One is to be released. Mattick’s exit is reportedly related to a possible Microsoft restructuring that is rumored to take place in the coming weeks.
Mattrick faces the challenge of redirecting Zynga and bringing it back to its former glory after losing key talent and dealing with a struggling stock price. He has a long, uphill battle in front of him.
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