Today Zynga announced that Don Mattrick, formerly the President of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business unit, will be leaving his post to become Zynga’s new CEO. The timing is a little surprising in one sense. The unit that Mattrick led included development of the forthcoming Xbox One. Companies don’t tend to see their big-wigs leave shortly before releasing such a huge product.
While executives don’t typically leave before product launches, they do often leave after making major public faux pas. Don Mattrick had a couple of big incidents with the gaming public in the week after E3 where Microsoft showed off the gaming potential of the Xbox One. During an interview he mentioned reading about someone on a nuclear submarine and being unable to play the Xbox One due to the, then required, constant internet connection. His solution to those in that situation was to simply buy an Xbox 360. Obviously those in the gaming and tech community didn’t take too kindly to that idea.
Maybe Mattrick’s departure from Microsoft had nothing to do with his latest gaffs, and even if they did we still wish him well with his new position at the head of Zynga. Afterall, he has been instrumental in delivering the most successful video game console of the current generation.