I had avoided the site called "All Things D" for a while now believing it was about something... else. My curiosity got the best of me when I saw Don Mattrick, head of Microsoft's XBox Division, showing up in a headline there, so I took the plunge into what I believed might have been my daily internet scarring. Low-and-behold the "D" apparently means digital and the story was about Mattrick leaving Microsoft.
Don Mattrick, the president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment unit — which centers on the Xbox and all the software giant’s gaming and entertainment efforts — is leaving the company.
...the high-profile executive is also close to taking a top job at Zynga, the troubled online social gaming company, possibly as its CEO and working in close partnership with its founder and current CEO Mark Pincus.
After the story broke, "D" reported that Zynga shares rose nearly ten percent, though the company's stock is still way down from when they went public in 2011. Current CEO Mark Pincus has struggled to move the company into mobile quickly after their Facebook and Web business took a dive. Mattrick, despite his awkward public presentations, has worked on many company turnarounds in the past.
Mattrick has also been considered to run EA, who's CEO left just a few months ago, but he has been in talks with Zynga for quite some time now. Combined with his desire to move back to San Fransico, where he has a home, may clinch the deal for Zynga. It's expected to be announced officially at the close of the market today.
Microsoft has no one in mind to replace Mattrick currently, but Steve Ballmer has been in the midst of a massive restructuring at Microsoft, so this may just be rolled into rebuilding the Microsoft team.