Zynga's CEO Don Mattrick has left the Farmville publisher less than two years after he stepped down from his role as president of Microsoft's gaming division to join the company.
Zynga's founder and chairman of the board of directors, Mark Pincus, will resume the role of CEO that he occupied before he put Mattrick in charge.
"I want to thank Don for his incredible efforts and leadership. He has laid groundwork that will benefit our players and company into the future," said Pincus in his announcement of the change.
"This hard work for our mobile players has resulted in bookings growing from 27 per cent mobile when Don joined to 60 per cent by the end of last year," he added. "Further, to deliver unique and differentiated value to our mobile players, Don and the team acquired NaturalMotion. NaturalMotion has surprised and delighted the world with Clumsy Ninja and CSR Racing resulting in more than 160m installs."
"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," Pincus continued. "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. I look forward to partnering with our leaders to intensify our focus on social experiences for the millions of consumers who play our games."
This marks an increase in Pincus' enthusiasm as he said he was "pretty bored with all games" back in 2013.
It seems Mattrick's departure was voluntary as he left the following statement on the publisher's investor relations page:
"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. 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.
"As a company, Zynga is in a stronger position today to serve mobile consumers and take advantage of the unprecedented growth opportunity across our industry. 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."
Mattrick assumed his role at Zynga while the company was struggling. Though the publisher put a positive spin on his tenure there, Zynga made a net loss of $61m during Q1 2014, and lost roughly $226m in 2014.
Pincus is accepting an annual salary of $1m a year, which is what Mattrick had. Though the former CEO managed to make $19m in his first year due to what can only be described as a slew of income-increasing buffs.
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