Can Zynga Swing a Turnaround with New CEO?

Susan Hall

Once again, it’s who you know in the job world.

Zynga’s board has brought in a new CEO, former Xbox chief Don Mattrick, while ex-CEO Mark Pincus will remain as chairman and chief product officer.

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Computerworld reports that there was no formal search for Pincus’ successor and that Pincus pursued Mattrick for the job for several months. Investors seem to like the move; the company’s stock is on an uptick with the news.


Pincus owns more than 60 percent of the company’s voting rights, so the board can’t easily overrule him. That should make it interesting for Mattrick.

“He’s got a history of liking to move into organizations that have challenges,” says Van Baker, an analyst with Gartner, quoted at BloombergBusinessWeek.

That article also describes the move as “kind of like an editor at the New Yorker leaving to start a blog at the Bleacher Report.”

Of course, there’s no shortage of advice for Mattrick about turning the company around, such as in this Forbes piece, which includes refocusing on customer service, the lack of which has been a major complaint.

The Washington Post says Mattrick could be a breath of fresh air for employees — and for Wall Street.

“When those two groups of people are happy, success often follows,” it says.

And neither of those groups has been happy lately.



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