GamesBeat

Zynga departures continue under new chief exec Don Mattrick

Above: Don Mattrick (left) and Mark Pincus of Zynga.

Image Credit: Zynga

Zynga has a new chief executive officer. Don Mattrick, formerly of Microsoft, took over the role in July, and now he’s starting to throw his weight around.

The social-gaming publisher is reorganizing its management structure, according to All Things D. Chief operating officer David Ko, chief technology officer Cadir Lee, and chief people officer Colleen McCreary will all leave the company next week.

“I have been working with our leaders to review different parts of our business in order to develop a set of operating principles to help reset the company,” Mattrick wrote in a letter to employs that Zynga posted to its blog. “We are now calibrating against the market opportunity and developing detailed plans to achieve topline growth and improve profitability in the future.”

Mattrick says that these departures are all a part of that growth process.

“We are taking layers out of the executive rank to get senior leaders closer to important product initiatives,” he wrote. “With that in mind, I have asked the leaders to sharpen their focus and properly densify talent to resource teams.”

This is the fist major move from Zynga since Mattrick took over the CEO role from Zynga founder Mark Pincus. Mattrick previously oversaw the Xbox at Microsoft and left that position as Microsoft is gearing up for the launch of its next-gen Xbox One. In late July, during a conference call with investors, Mattrick laid out a 90-day plan to begin turning the Farmville publisher around.

“[I want to get] under the hood to evaluate every aspect of our business. [I will conduct] top-to-bottom business reviews and work with our leaders to calibrate against the market opportunity and to go after it with a real sense of urgency,” said Mattrick. “Zynga’s still a young company, and we have the capability to break some bad habits and get back to some good fundamentals. And while my approach in the first few weeks is to listen and learn, when it becomes clear what change is necessary, I’ll move quickly and decisively to do what’s in the best long-term interests of our players, employees, and our shareholders.”

What’s best for Zynga’s players, employees, and shareholders? Apparently getting rid of some more top-level executives.

Prior to Don Mattrick’s arrival at Zynga, the social-game maker was in the middle of a talent exodus. Executives that left the company up through June include vice president of partner publishing Rob Dyer, chief designer Brian Reynolds, chief creative officer Mike Verdu, chief security officer Nils Puhlmann, chief technical officer of infrastructure Allan Leinwand, OMGPOP chief revenue officer Wilson Griegel, Words With Friends co-creators David and Paul Bettner, and OMGPOP chief executive Dan Porter.


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