All Things D reported Monday that Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment unit, is on his way out of the division that largely focuses on Xbox and the company’s gaming endeavors.
Where is Mr. Mattrick headed? To Zynga, it appears.
These sources added that the high-profile executive is also close to taking a top job at Zynga, the troubled online social gaming company, possibly as its CEO and working in close partnership with its founder and current CEO Mark Pincus.
It should be noted that the market seems to have responded favorably to the rumors so far this afternoon.
According to a subsequent update to the original report, Zynga shares spiked nearly 10 percent to $3.05. Although that’s still 68 percent lower than where the company was during its 2011 public offering, a bounce is a bounce. And Zynga will take what it can get.
“If it happens,” author Kara Swisher writes, “the hire would be a massive one for Zynga, which has been hit by a series of problems since its IPO. Pincus has been struggling to move the company into mobile quickly, as its once strong Web and Facebook consumer business has waned. That has included a recent round of layoffs, as well as closures of a number of offices outside of its San Francisco HQ.”