Zynga Gambles on Former Xbox CEO to Regain Leadership Status

Mark Pincus has stepped down as CEO of Zynga to give way to a new leader, Don Mattrick, who is a former Microsoft Xbox top honcho.

Considering Zynga’s much publicized online gambling plans, many perceive the move as a gamble itself, since Mattrick does not have the proficiency of an online gambling games expert. Reports have it that the former Xbox CEO is under a 3-year contract and stands to receive around $50 million, or even more if he succeeds in turning the company around.

Nonetheless, the gamble seems to be paying off since the price of Zynga’s stocks went up at $3.40 per share, from a previous $2.77.

What are the Odds?

Microsoft is still a formidable name in the world of computers and egaming, but many are seeing signs that the company is bound to sink. The latest was the hullaballoo over the company’s new gaming console, Xbox One. The policies that came with it elicited angry reactions from gaming customers, on which Mattrick and his crew quickly backtracked in order to appease avid Xbox patrons.

Although there were already rumors that Mattrick was about to resign from Microsoft, observers in the egaming market were surprised at his decision to join Zynga, which they regard as another sinking ship. After all, Electronic Arts (EA), whose Activision is Zynga’s closest competitor, was keenly wooing Mattrick to replace EA’s former CEO John Riccitiello, who stepped down last March.

If the report about Mattrick’s contract with Zynga is true, then the odds are in his favor. Whether or not he succeeds in putting Zynga back at the top of the social gaming leadership board, he will still be richer by as much as $50 million at the end of the three-year contract.