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Zynga appoints Frank Gibeau new CEO

Social publisher's board member and former EA exec takes over as Mark Pincus steps down a second time

Mark Pincus has stepped down as CEO of Zynga once again, and once again he's handing the reins over to a former executive of Electronic Arts. Effective March 7, Zynga's new CEO will be Frank Gibeau, who joined the social publisher's board of directors last August after a distinguished 23-year career at EA.

In an email to Zynga employees, the company founder explained the choice of Gibeau as the new CEO.

"Frank has a history of developing strong teams and shipping market leading games," Pincus wrote. "He is a seasoned leader with the experience to quickly navigate the kinds of challenges we face on a weekly basis. He has a proven 25-year track record having helped architect the successful turnaround of Electronic Arts as the President of EA Labels and more recently navigating the company's platform transition efforts as EVP of EA Mobile. In our industry he's known for driving operational excellence and leading winning teams on both the publishing and studio side of the gaming business."

The change in leadership apparently won't be accompanied by a significant shift in strategy, as Gibeau's own statement suggested he would stay the course on the company's turnaround plan.

"We will continue to invest in our talent and build on our empowered, entrepreneurial culture," Gibeau said. "As important, we must commit to a new level of operational excellence with focused execution, engineered hits and strong cost discipline. I'm excited to get started and expect a seamless transition given the progress we've made together over the past seven months. I'm encouraged by our early momentum and look forward to partnering with our teams to build on the progress we're seeing across the company."

Pincus will remain with the company as executive chairman, working with a small number of teams on a day-to-day basis to foster innovative approaches to social gaming.

Pincus' second tenure as CEO was relatively brief. He had only been serving in that position since April 2015, when he took over for outgoing CEO Don Mattrick. It was less than two years prior to that when Pincus left the CEO role for the first time, recruiting Mattrick from Microsoft to lead the company's turnaround.

Update

In after hours trading Zynga's stock price rose to $2.31, an increase of close to 7 per cent.

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