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Posted by Chuck Corbin on Jul 2, 2013

Don Mattrick Leaves Microsoft For… Zynga?!

Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, the same guy who’s been bungling the Xbox One launch, is no longer working for Microsoft. You’d think with the way the Xbox One’s announcements have been handled that Mr. Mattrick was asked to step down. However, that is not the case: he stepped down to be the new CEO for Zynga, of all people.

Mr. Mattrick had this to say about his decision to join Zynga: “I joined Zynga because I believe that Mark’s pioneering vision and mission to connect the world through games is just getting started. As Mark was recruiting me to come here, I was impressed by his creativity, drive and the clarity in which he sees the future of games and entertainment as a core consumer experience.”

While it appears on the face of things that Mr. Mattrick has left Microsoft of his own free will, I have wonder if there wasn’t some sort of backroom politics going on that made him decide to jump ship. After all, he’s been lambasted from the media and gamers alike for his portrayal of the Xbox One since its announcement, from the idea that if somebody doesn’t have an internet connection they can just buy an Xbox 360, to the fact that Microsoft’s sales pitch for the Xbox One has been confusing at best. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that he knew he was on his way out of Microsoft, and this was just an opportunity for him to get out with his head held high. That’s not to say he’s going to have an easy time at Zynga, mind you: the company has had issues with departures and layoffs over the last several months.

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