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This is one of the most unexpected news stories for a while. Don Mattrick was the president of Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, but you will know him better as being one of the only public faces associated with Xbox. He has been instrumental in everything Xbox One related at both the reveal and E3. He is now leaving the company to join Zynga, the social gaming company that has dropped in stock considerably in recent years.
Don will take on the role of CEO and will also sit on the Board of Directors for Zynga, effective as of July 8th. Zynga founder Mark Pincus has said “Don is unique in the game business. He can execute in multiple domains — hardware, software, and network.” Don has also spoke out on his appointment and added “Zynga is a great business that has yet to realize its full potential. I’m proud to partner with Mark to deliver high-quality, fun, social games wherever people want to play.”
This is huge news for many reasons and the timing is very interesting. After the recent U-turn on DRM and other policies for the Xbox One, it seems that they were on the right path once again. Of course Mattrick was famously quoted as saying people should buy an Xbox 360 if they don’t agree with policies so this could be a positive for many people that he is no longer at Microsoft. This is however undoubtedly a huge steal for Zynga who have been getting similar negative press recently and look to strengthen the company once again.