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Mattrick out as Mark Pincus regains control at Zynga

Time for a CEO swap
Mattrick out as Mark Pincus regains control at Zynga

It's back to the source for Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) with the shock news that founding CEO Mark Pincus has replaced current CEO Don Mattrick effective today.

Previously with EA and Microsoft, Mattrick took over 18 months ago to reboot the company, both in terms of its platform focus - moving from Facebook to mobile - and also bringing more operational and financial rigidity.

Pincus' role was diluted down to chairman of the board as Zynga restructured, shredding hundreds of jobs and gaining a new set of executives in the process.

However, thanks to his personal shareholding, Pincus continued to maintain control of the social gamemaker he had founded, and now it appears he's exercised this control.

This man is out

"When I joined the company in July 2013, Mark and I shared a vision of building a meaningful company that redefines entertainment in an increasingly mobile world. I am proud of the progress we have made together," Mattrick commented in a statement.

"I believe the timing is now right for me to leave as CEO and let Mark lead the company into its next chapter given his passion for the founding vision and his ability to couple our mobile progress with Zynga's unique strengths.

"I am excited about the company's trajectory and wish the best for Mark, Zynga and NaturalMotion as I plan to return to Canada to pursue my next challenge."

This man is in

"Now that we are a mobile first company, it's time to renew our focus on our founding mission to connect the world through games and our vision to make play and social games a mass market activity," said Mark Pincus.

"I am returning to the company that I love in order to accelerate innovation in the most popular categories like Action Strategy and strengthen our focus on our core areas like Invest and Express.

Mattrick and Pincus in happier times
Mattrick and Pincus in happier times

"I look forward to partnering with our leaders to intensify our focus on social experiences for the millions of consumers who play our games."

Despite these changes, Zynga remains a troubled outfit; it's still loss-making and its share price is still well under its 2011 IPO listing of $10.