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Zynga founder Mark Pincus steps down as company poaches Xbox Live point-man
Pincus stepped aside to let Microsoft exec take the CEO role; now he moves away from the day-to-day entirely as Mattrick brings in more Xbox talent.
Less than a year ago, an embattled Zynga named Don Mattrick as its CEO. Mattrick, an EA veteran, came from Microsoft, where he'd most recently headed up launch efforts for Xbox One. Mattrick took over the Zynga role from company founder Mark Pincus, who'd been roundly criticized by investors, and soon announced a 90-day plan to reform the company. The 90 days may have elapsed, but those efforts are still ongoing. Today, the company announced an even bigger change alongside its first quarter 2014 financial results: Pincus is stepping aside almost completely. He's abandoning his chief product officer role and moving away from day-to-day operations for the company, though he will remain chairman of the board. Further from that, Mattrick has appointed Microsoft colleague Alex Garden president of Zynga Studios. Garden was general manager for Xbox Live and Xbox Music, Video and Reading. Garden will now oversee all of Zynga's game development studios. He's also the co-founder of Relic Entertainment, and also had a stint as CEO of the North American division of Nexon -- publishers of MMO MapleStory. Mattrick hasn't stopped there. The company has also added two more C-level executives, it has announced: Hollywood veteran Henry LaBounta (Minority Report, Twister) joins as chief visual officer, and Jennifer Nuckles comes on as chief marketing officer. Nuckles, the release notes, has an e-commerce background and experience marketing directly to women.