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Zynga has appointed Don Mattrick, formerly Microsoft’s head of  Xbox and gaming division, as CEO and a member of the board, effective July 8, 2013. Mark Pincus, Zynga’s founding chief executive officer, remains board chairman and chief product officer of the company.

The decision to switch CEOs comes in the middle of the company laying of some 520 employees, and closing offices. Mr. Pincus controlled 61 per cent of the company’s voting power as of the end of March.

Mr. Mattrick, 49, spent six years at Microsoft, the last three as president of the Interactive Entertainment Business. In that role, he was responsible for the team that grew Microsoft’s Xbox 360 global installed base by 700 percent to more than 75 million consoles, according to the statement released by Zynga.  

John Doerr (Member, Zynga Board; General partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers): Mark took the lead in working with the entire board to recruit Don to Zynga… This also is a win for Mark, who can devote his full attention to conceiving and building the best social games in the world.

Previously, Mr. Mattrick served as the president of Worldwide Studios at Electronic Arts. During his 15-year career at Electronic Arts, he helped develop and scale some of the company’s leading global game franchises and brands.

At age 17, Mr. Mattrick founded his first company, Distinctive Software, which was acquired by Electronic Arts in 1991.

Mr. Mattrick will report directly to the board and was unanimously appointed CEO. He will join Mr. Pincus in a newly formed executive committee to manage company operations together. 

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