Don Mattrick, a prominent games industry figure that headed Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment division since 2007, is leaving Xbox to take over as CEO at Farmville creator Zynga.
The move was announced by Zynga founder and CEO Mark Pincus, who said Mattrick had the "greatest impact working as an entrepreneur with product teams."
The move promises to reinvigorate the social gaming giant, which has struggled since its 2011 IPO. In November Mark Pincus announced a cost-cutting plan to address the company's falling share price, in effect shutting down new games and closing user registration. The game closures followed the laying off of 100 employees from the developer's Austin, Texas studio last October.
Meanwhile, Mattrick leaves a lasting legacy on the Xbox brand. When he joined Microsoft in 2007 after 25 years with Battlefield 4 publisher Electronic Arts, the company's Xbox division was struggling with a stalled install base and aggressive challenges from Sony's PlayStatio...