Social gaming company Zynga on Wednesday revealed that founder Mark Pincus is stepping down from his role as chief product officer effective today. The executive will instead focus on his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors according to a press release on the matter that accompanied Zynga’s first quarter financial results.
Zynga CEO Don Mattrick thanked Pincus for his dedicated service to the Zynga community since the company’s founding in 2007. Mattrick highlighted the fact that the founder turned brands like FarmVille, Words With Friends and Zynga Poker into household names and daily habits for hundreds of millions of consumers.
In an interview with Re/code, Pincus said he wanted to stay on doing the product role for a while because he wanted to put his hands on the product and make sure the company continued to also pursue its social mission.
He added that Mattrick and some of the existing team and new people really embraced that so he ultimately decided a ship is better with one captain putting a hand on the wheel.
The decision comes less than a year after the former Xbox Chief replaced Pincus as CEO of Zynga. The company rose to prominence on the coattails of Facebook’s social gaming push but once the market shifted to mobile, they had a hard time adapting. As a result, Mattrick was brought in to try and turn things around.