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Don Mattrick Leaves Microsoft To Become CEO At Zynga 100

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the all-aboard-the-sinking-ship dept.
krkhan writes "It has been confirmed by Zynga that the head of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, Don Mattrick, is taking over as the new CEO. Mattrick joined Microsoft in 2007 and has led the business during much of the lifespan of Xbox 360, as well as the launch of Kinect and pre-launch of Xbox One. Zynga shares jumped 12% following the news."
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Don Mattrick Leaves Microsoft To Become CEO At Zynga

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  • by zlives (2009072)

    or as I read it, after the XBONE always on drm marketing debacle, some one got fired.
    only if people at MS got fired for making a bad product and not just marketing debacles... I am looking at you b-lamer

  • by Seumas (6865) on Monday July 01, 2013 @07:02PM (#44160139)

    Ballmer issued a statement which included a comment that all Don's former employees now report to Ballmer through the holiday for the XBOX ONE.. Hm...

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/Press/2013/Jul13/07-01steveb-mail.aspx [microsoft.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 01, 2013 @07:20PM (#44160265)

      No hmm about it. It's a very good farewell message - no daggers.
      All it means is that they didn't have anyone to back-fill Don (which would indicate a resignation rather than being fired).

      • by Seumas (6865) on Monday July 01, 2013 @08:20PM (#44160789)

        The question isn't about daggers, but about the efficacy of Ballmer picking up from here through to and after the launch. With Don's departure so swift, it strikes me a little like losing your head coach just before going to your championship game. It brings uncertainty and interrupts a certain flow and expectation at a crucial moment. I'm actually a bit shocked they wouldn't force him to stay til the end of the year (if for no other reason than to readily finger him for any failures in final numbers).

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Well consider that Ballmer has been like a stuck record, all "appstores appstores appstores, social social social" I have no doubt that the Xbone will be all about pushing the appstore and social crap so most likely it'll suck like everything Ballmer has "personally" gotten involved in.Zune,Sidekick, Zune Market, WinPhone, his "leadership" seems to be "make it suck so I can pretend I can become the new Apple".

          So it honestly doesn't surprise me that Ballmer let him go and took over, it is pretty obvious th

      • by TWiTfan (2887093)

        More likely that Balmer kicked Mattrick's ass out the door (with a chair thrown after him for good measure), then took personal command of the sinking ship in an effort to right it. Whether Ballmer himself is the right man for the job is debatable, but he could hardly do much worse.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Well, Ballmer is very good at "launching" things, so maybe it will help.

  • XBone One (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday July 01, 2013 @07:05PM (#44160155)

    I think this guy saw the writing on the wall regarding the XBone One, and he got the hell out of dodge before the shit storm made landfall. Better to go to a place where you're wanted while you can still leave than be sucking on a "golden parachute" and have no job prospects.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You do realize that you're basically saying Xbox One One, right?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        11b = 3

        Now the name actually makes sense.

      • by N0Man74 (1620447)

        I thought he was saying X-Bone One, as in, "Microsoft really X-Boned this one."

    • Re:XBone One (Score:4, Interesting)

      by WankersRevenge (452399) on Monday July 01, 2013 @07:49PM (#44160503)

      Yes, there will be a shitstorm. Microsoft really screwed up this launch and I think that's why he's leaving. After the DRM reversal, his number was up.

      But I don't think for a moment that Microsoft is out of the console race. They're in it for the long game and as far as launches go, I still think the PS3 holds the title of the worst console launch.

      I imagine in 2015 after the inevitable price drop, no one will even remember all the Microsoft cockups, but it's going to be a lot of painful months before Microsoft gets there.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        They're in it for the long game and as far as launches go, I still think the PS3 holds the title of the worst console launch.

        I doubt that.

        Sony's crime was mind-boggling arrogance, the belief that because they had so thouroughly dominated with the PS2 that they could do whatever the fuck they wanted and game developers and gamers would lap up their crap no matter how dumb it was. The central locus was the Cell processor, an exotic piece of hardware which is a bastard to program for and can't receive code that isn't specifically tuned for it without suffering nasty performance problems. Sony's thinking was that developers would wri

        • by Clsid (564627)

          Err, you are kind of supporting the argument that the PS3 launch was the worst console launch ever.

          In order to say that Sony learned their lesson, I would wait until they are in a dominant position again and pull out that act of humility. They all are for-profit companies, so the only good thing that comes out from there is when you have a real competitor that will take your business away if you don't get your act together. One of the reasons why open source works better for not screwing users up, even if i

          • by JDG1980 (2438906)

            Err, you are kind of supporting the argument that the PS3 launch was the worst console launch ever.

            His point, I think, is that the Xbone launch was even worse because MS had the opportunity to learn from Sony's previous mistakes, and instead went on to make the very same mistakes. Sony's strategy was risky, but conceivably could have paid off. MS had every reason why they should have known better, but they went ahead anyway.

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        Microsoft really screwed up this launch

        Why are you using the past tense for something that hasn't happened yet?

        Businesses regularly say 'we are going to do XXX' just to see how the public reacts. Microsoft is notorious for inventing entire software products, marketing campaigns and release dates ... and never writing a single line of code. The (and many many others, mine included) do it to test reception for a potential product so it can be canceled earlier if its an unsure idea or as misdirection towards competition.

        Saying one thing initially

    • Err the Xbox one launch was the shitstorm, they are in damage limitation now. Don was the face of bad news, change the face along with the message.
    • by csumpi (2258986)
      > this guy saw the writing on the wall regarding the XBone One

      Oh come on now. And instead he went to the complete trainwreck of a spam house?

      No way he was leaving on his own. Not with product launch in 5 months.
    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      He saw the writing on the wall, but the writing largely said "You've been handling the One catastrophically, get the hell off before somebody else makes you do it." I've rarely seen an exec mishandle so many PR events in such a short amount of time. He's managed to make a lot of headlines, not one positively, since the One was first announced. It shouldn't be surprising that he's leaving now, and I'm not sure it was entirely his call.
    • by Xest (935314)

      It's nothing to do with the "writing on the wall", he got pushed, period.

      This is the guy who basically told his customers to go f themselves and insulted just about every serving member of the US military whilst also claiming removing DRM from the XBox One was impossible, only for the company to do exactly that literally only a few days later.

      It's pretty obvious this guy fucked up, and was given his notice. Had he not got this job at Zynga I'd wager in a few more weeks time he'd have "decided to leave Micro

  • Usually the rats are just stowaways who flee if the ship sinks, but Rattrick was the one who sunk the XBONE ship and now he's fleeing to another sinking ship.

    Oh well, good riddance. Hope he fails at Zynga, too.

    • by TWiTfan (2887093)

      He and Zynga are a perfect match. No one would give a shit if either failed.

  • by kawabago (551139) on Monday July 01, 2013 @07:26PM (#44160323)
    After what that Microtwit did to Nokia, isn't Zinga afraid they'll meet the same fate?
    • Based on the last couple quarters, Zynga's already on life support. Their fate isn't sealed yet but the magic eightball says "outlook not so good".

      • honestly, if I was a stockholder, I'd rather liquidate the company, while you still have tangible saleable assets than take on a microsoft exec. They're track record is not good.

        I think its partially because you really don't need results to win at microsoft. Microsoft makes products people more or less have to buy(i.e. pre-installed, or needed for compatibility), instead of want to buy. There is virtually no risk/reward for making a flop.

        With the exception of the XBox, every product where microsoft had to c
  • Holy crap... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hine_uk (783556) on Monday July 01, 2013 @07:31PM (#44160349)
    ...when a sinking ship like Zynga looks good to a rat like Mattrick you know Microsoft are in trouble.
    • by am 2k (217885) on Monday July 01, 2013 @08:56PM (#44160989) Homepage

      I'm not so sure. He used to be a (higher-up) middle manager, now he's the CEO. If an already crumbling ship sinks, nobody will blame him, and the next job he'll be given will be a CEO position.

      Remember, CEOs aren't rated by the performance of their company under their leadership, but only by the check they raked in every month.

      • Re:Holy crap... (Score:5, Informative)

        by drawfour (791912) on Monday July 01, 2013 @10:02PM (#44161327)
        He was the President of the IEB division. That's not a middle manager of any kind - he reported straight to Ballmer.
      • by csumpi (2258986)
        > If an already crumbling ship sinks, nobody will blame him

        That's not the issue. Sinking ships go through captains faster than a mexican restaurant through toilet paper rolls.
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        I'm not so sure. He used to be a (higher-up) middle manager, now he's the CEO. If an already crumbling ship sinks, nobody will blame him, and the next job he'll be given will be a CEO position.

        Well, he was president. Though, you're right that since he reported to the CEO, there's no way for him to advance to CEO job. And once you land in the coveted CEO spot, you're really in a little club - make your mark you're pretty much going to always be CEO.

        "President" is a lower executive title - you can be a presi

    • by Horshu (2754893)
      Yeah, and Sinofsky "left" to reflect and look ahead.
    • by Xest (935314)

      Or you know that Mattrick was desperate because he'd been given his notice period after the colossal XBox One DRM screwup which he was defiant in defending and the subsequent reversal.

      I know which I'm placing my bets on.

    • by DiEx-15 (959602)

      I don't fucking want innovation. You're not smarter than your competitor. Just copy what they do and do it until you get their numbers.
      - CEO Mark Pincus

      Yep. Don Mattrick will fit right in!

  • by ebonum (830686) on Monday July 01, 2013 @07:37PM (#44160407)

    Does no one remember Nokia?

    Their new strategy will be to strike a deal with M$ and then develop solely for the Windows Phone because everything else is a waste of time.

  • ...Mark Penis^H^H^H^H^HPincus.
  • Given the history of ex-microsoft execs in new companies, its fair to say Zynga is on the way out soon.

    Nice knowing you!
  • by DrXym (126579) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @04:35AM (#44163075)
    Good for one packet of Alpine strawberry seeds, golden plough, or Hawaiian shirt.
  • by jones_supa (887896) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @04:46AM (#44163115)
    Let me guess that most of Slashdotters didn't even know that there was a person called Don Mattrick at Microsoft and thought that all the games division big decisions were once again made by Steve Ballmer only.
  • I'm still wondering why everyday tech people should care what companies these overpaid pricks are jumping to to further their careers? Slashdot posts a lot of such stories.

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