Last summer, former Xbox exec Don Mattrick took over as new CEO of Zynga and immediately went to work. Through this time, former CEO Mark Pincus has remained on as chief product officer and was still involved in day-to-day management of the company. However, that is about to change as Pincus gave up those roles this week.
While he will no longer be in charge of running the operations of the company, the founder of the once-popular game studio will still remain on as chairman. Pincus is also the largest shareholder of the company and even has a controlling interest, and these two things will not change with him stepping down from his former job.
On top of this, CEO Don Mattrick has added some powerful people to his team to hopefully help lead Zynga back into profitable quarters.
First, founder of Relic Entertainment and previous Xbox Live executive Alex Garden has been signed by Mattrick to become president of Zynga Studios. When with Microsoft, Garden was responsible for Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Xbox Video. He was also played a key part in bringing on the myriad of media partners to the Xbox platform, like ESPN and Netflix.
On the hire, Mattrick said,
Alex Garden is an exciting hire for us as we focus on growing and sustaining our franchises, creating groundbreaking new entertainment experiences, and developing a more creative culture across Zynga. As president of Zynga Studios, Alex will have an integral role on the management team overseeing all of our studios as well as our CTO division. On a personal note, I have known Alex for 25 years and I am confident that he will strengthen our creative and technical capabilities as well as nurture and mentor our existing teams.
Also making his way to the team is Henry LaBounta, who is an Academy Award-nominated visual effects director who will, naturally, be heading up Zynga as chief visual officer. Jennifer Nuckles will take the chief marketing officer role and earlier this month new CFO and chief accounting officer David Lee accepted his position. On departures, Steve Chiang, who was the lead in all things "Ville" for Zynga, has left the company.
What do you think of all these changes? It seems like Mattrick really is trying to turn things around. We'll have to see what happens over the summer to know if Zynga will have fighting power moving into the holiday season.