Xbox Division Lead, Don Mattrick, Leaves to Join... Zynga? Steve Ballmer, Himself, Scabs the Void.

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | July 2, 2013 - 03:33 AM |
Tagged: xbox one, xbox, microsoft, consolitis

Well that was unexpected...

Don Mattrick, a few months ahead of the Xbox One launch and less than two months after its unveiling, decided to leave his position at Microsoft as president of Interactive Entertainment Business. This news was first made official by a Zynga press release, which announced acquiring him as CEO. Steve Ballmer later published an open letter addressed all employees of Microsoft, open to the public via their news feed, wishing him luck and outlining the immediate steps to follow.

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While subtle in the email, no replacement has been planned for after his departure on July 8th. Those who report to Don Mattrick will report directly to Steve Ballmer, himself, seemingly through the launch of Xbox One. As scary and unsettling as Xbox One PR has been lately, launching your flagship ship without a captain is a depressingly fitting apex. This would likely mean that either: Don gave minimal notice of his departure, he was being abruptly ousted from Microsoft and Zynga just happened to make convenient PR for all parties involved, or there is literally no sense to be made of the situation.

However the situation came about, Xbox One will likely launch from a team directly lead by Steve Ballmer and Zynga will have a new CEO. Will his goal be to turn the former social gaming giant back on course? Or will he be there to milk blood from the company before it turns to stone?

I wonder whether his new contract favors cash or stock...

Source: Zynga

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July 2, 2013 | 04:09 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Indeed, it is a rather surprising/unexpected/uncertain/why in the world he would pick Zynga kind of situation. 

All i know is that i would not trust any Zynga stock and would be wanting all my salary in cash ;). I know the Xbox One lauch was a PR cluster... well MS could have certainly handled it a lot better than they did, but the console is still likely to be a success, overall. Zynga on the other hand... is the CEO of a sinking ship better than fixing the Xbox One PR mess? :P /totally my personal speculation/opinion of course :).

July 2, 2013 | 04:09 AM - Posted by JSL

I bet $10 that after the entire fiasco that's known as xbone's totalitarian drm, and the PR behind it, he was forced to ship on out of there and HR found him a job at Zynga instead. Seems a bit fitting that it was Zynga.

July 2, 2013 | 10:43 AM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

Didn't Steven Sinofsky leave Microsoft shortly after the Windows 8 launch,......?

It looks like a bit of a trend.

July 2, 2013 | 11:19 AM - Posted by edwinjamesmiller36

I doubt the Xbox will be under Ballmer's direct control for long. I have read that a BIG reorganization of all of Microsoft's divisions is just weeks (if not days) away. I would hazard the guess that MS saw no need to spell out where and how the Xbox division fits in the current structure and did not wish to reveal any of the new structure right now.

As for Don Mattrick leaving, the Public Relations fumbles may have more to do with him being distracted or not involved with decisions due to his upcoming departure. Microsoft may have quarantined him once there was a strong indication that he was being considered for the Zynga job.

July 3, 2013 | 08:30 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

In honor of Ballmer taking over the Xbox management, M$ will create the game of BallmerKong! This game will feature the APE like CEO in a game where the user will try to rescue Princess StartMenu from BallmerKong's tower of Unproductivity! Gamers will be forced to navigate through a maze of pitfalls and ramps, all while BallmerKong flings various makes and models of office chairs at the gamers chosen Hero, watch out for those deluxe executive chairs, they may be padded, but they pack a wallop!

July 29, 2013 | 07:35 PM - Posted by Jeverette (not verified)

Little cash - I think a million salary but 40mill in SO, If you read his history he's always wanted to own and lead a gaming company. He's a gamer. His house is worth 27 million with a 10 car garage filled with a Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc. He alsw would fly his private jet to work in Washington from his home in BC. Don;t think this guy is interested in failure and his money and power will only be enhanced if he succeeds and if he does'nt then as Donny Brasco would say Fuggeta bout it

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