Mattrick prepped Zynga buyout while at Microsoft - report

New Zynga CEO opened negotiations with social firm back in 2010

Don Mattrick attempted to orchestrate an acquisition of Zynga during his tenure as head of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division.

According to a report on Bloomberg, which cites a number of people familiar with the matter, Mattrick opened negotiations with Zynga CEO Mark Pincus in 2010. At that time, Facebook games were ascendant, adding millions of new players every month.

The negotiations ultimately broke down, but the sources claim that they marked with the beginning of Mattrick's relationship with Pincus. They been in regular contact ever since, and began discussing the possibility of Mattrick becoming CEO of Zynga in March.

Mattrick left Microsoft for Zynga last week. His departure immediately followed some of the most difficult weeks in the history of the Xbox division, as Microsoft unveiled and then retracted a number of controversial policies around DRM and licensing for the Xbox One. However, it is apparent that Mattrick had planned to leave for Zynga many months before the fallout started.

Related stories

Xbox promotes Mike Ybarra and Kareem Choudhry

Both have been moved up to vice president positions at the company, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed

By James Brightman

Games dip taints Microsoft's financial success

Despite firm's overall increase, console revenues are down by 3% as Xbox One sales fail to improve

By James Batchelor

Latest comments (2)

Jack Pochop Studying Telecommunications, Indiana University3 years ago
I know this was the presumed situation, but I'm glad it's sort of all out on the table. The idea that he flip-flopped on the fly is ludicrous.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Not a flip-flop, just one of his two 'bale-out' options he had in his back pocket as the situation crumbled at MS.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.