Call it the Monday morning executive shuffle. Today in AllThingsD, the indomitable Kara Swisherreported that Microsoft’s Don Mattrick is leaving the firm for the troubled gaming giant Zynga.
The move is a surprise, but not one that came from nowhere. According to Swisher, the move has been under construction for a decent period, with discussions about the move taking place for “some time.”
This is not a positive for Microsoft, almost as much as it is a positive signal for Zynga. Microsoft needs to keep its executive chain intact at its entertainment group as the business unit is in the process of launching a new flagship console, and is currently constructing a music service to compete with Spotify and Apple.
Mattrick has enjoyed a bit of Foot in Mouth disease in recent weeks, kicking up furor when he appeared tinnish to a decision regarding the new Xbox console:
“Fortunately we have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of connectivity,” he said bluntly in an interview with Geoff Keighley, a journalist for GameTrailers. “It’s called Xbox 360.”
Keighley was taken aback, perhaps not surprisingly, and responded with: “So stick with 360, that’s your message if you don’t like it?”
“Well if you have zero access to the Internet,” Mattrick continued, “that is an offline device.”
Following gamer outrage, Mattrick and his crew had to backtrack on their plans for the Xbox One console, to the delight of gamers, and the grinding down of their plans as a company. The reason for his departure hasn’t been stated. But as the face of MSFT’s recent press conferences regarding Xbox One, it’s hard not to associate him with the recent backlash towards the console.
It isn’t clear what his role at Zynga will be at this time. TNW has a request for comment and clarification in with Microsoft regarding his impending departure.
Update: Microsoft declined to comment.
Second update: According to Bloomberg, Pincus is out and Mattrick will become its new CEO.
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