In an interesting turn of events, social gaming service Zynga has announced that current CEO Don Mattrick is departing the company and relinquishing his seat on the board of directors effective immediately. In his absence, founder and chairman Mark Pincus will return to the role of chief executive.
Mattrick said in a statement that when he joined the company in July 2013, he and Pincus shared a vision of building a meaningful company to redefine entertainment in an increasingly mobile world.
Mattrick added that he was proud of the progress they made but said he believes the timing is now right for him to depart and let Pincus lead the company into its next chapter given his passion for the founding vision and his ability to couple mobile progress with Zynga's unique strengths. The executive said he plans to return to Canada to pursue his next challenge.
Zynga got its start in mid-2007, striking gold with its first game Texas Hold’Em Poker (now known as Zynga Poker) on Facebook. Two years later, the company released FarmVille followed by CityVille which cemented the company as the top social gaming developer in the land.
As the industry shifted to mobile gaming, however, Zynga struggled to adapt. It brought Mattrick on in 2013 to help with a turnaround plan but those efforts haven’t yet paid off.
Zynga stock is down nearly 11 percent in after-hours trading on the news.