Well, this is an unexpected (and kind of hilarious) turn of events: USA Today is reporting that Don Mattrick, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, will be quitting the company in order to take over as CEO of struggling social games developer Zynga.
Mattrick, who began his career at EA, joined Microsoft shortly after the launch of the Xbox 360. He’s been the public face of the Xbox division for most of the previous generation and hosted the Xbox One’s official unveiling and the following E3 press conference.
Mattrick is expected to officially announce his departure later today.
Perhaps I’m just reading into the news a little too much, but the timing of Mattrick’s departure is suspicious: he’s leaving Microsoft just weeks after announcing a reversal on the Xbox One’s DRM policies, policies which Mattrick was a big proponent of. It’s currently unknown if the less than positive reception the Xbox One received when it was unveiled has anything to do with Mattrick’s decision to leave the company. Perhaps the timing is coincidental and Mattrick simply wants some of that sweet Zynga money (too bad the company is tanking.) Regardless, it is strange that an exec as high ranking as Mattrick would quit so close to the launch of one of his company’s most important products.
At the very least, you can’t say that Zynga and Mattrick aren’t a perfect match for each other.