In a letter posted to employees earlier today, Zynga founder and chairman of the board of directors Mark Pincus announced that CEO Don Mattrick would be stepping down from his post, with Pincus taking his place effective immediately. Mattrick steps down after less than two years as CEO, during which he managed to grow Zynga’s mobile revenue from 27% to 60% of Zynga’s bookings.
I am returning to the company that I love in order to accelerate innovation in the most popular categories like Action Strategy and strengthen our focus on our core areas like Invest and Express. I look forward to partnering with our leaders to intensify our focus on social experiences for the millions of consumers who play our games.
Mattrick’s firing has been written on the wall ever since he referred to 2014 as a “year of progress.” 2014 saw Zynga post a $226 million loss compared to a $37 million loss in 2013. Due to underperforming titles in the country, Zynga also made the decision to close operations in China.
Investors have not responded well to the announcement of Mark Pincus returning to the reigns, however, as Zynga’s stock has dropped more than 10% in after hours trading. Zynga hopes to turn its problems around in 2015 with the launch of several new products.