Don Mattrick Details His Plans to Turn Zynga Around

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Don Mattrick Details His Plans to Turn Zynga Around

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The former Microsoft bigwig says Zynga needs to "break some bad habits" and "get back to basics."

Its only been a few weeks since Microsoft's former President of Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick jumped from the frying pan into the fire and took up the mantle of CEO at the struggling Zynga, but he already has some ideas on how to turn the company around. During an investor call today, Mattrick said Zynga needs to "break some bad habits" and "get back to basics."

Mattrick outlined a 90-day plan for the company, where he plans to get "under the hood to evaluate" Zynga's business, conduct "top-to-bottom business reviews and [work] with our leaders to calibrate against the market opportunity and to go after it with a real sense of urgency" and spend time "heads down" with developers to improve product quality.

He says that the developer behind Farmville needs to take a more "long term" view on its products, especially as it is now focusing on moving from social media to mobile platforms and tablets. "It's clear that the market opportunity around us is growing at an incredible clip," said Mattrick, adding "It's also clear that today we are missing out on the platform growth that Apple, Google and Facebook are seeing."

The company is probably looking at six months to a year of volatility as it resets its strategy, warns Mattrick, but he plans to "listen and learn" to see what changes are required at Zynga.

"While we've got a lot of work to do, I see a lot of opportunity in having the collection of people we've assembled."

Source: Polygon

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Top-to-bottom business reviews, "heads down", volatility....yeah people are getting the boot, that's what I'm taking from this.

This man is a questionable spin doctor at best... I may be cruel but could he as the saying goes 'organise a piss up in a brewery'? Good luck Zynga.

I honestly hope that he can turn Zynga into an honest company, If only for the employees.

for "turn around" read "run into the ground"

Considering this is the guy who led the Xbox One to be over complicated beyond reason (even the name is needlessly confusing)I am not keeping my hopes up he will change anything.

In the most corporate way possible, he's basically saying he's going to downsize like a mother trucker and help cut the tremendous amount of bloat at Zynga. Not a bad plan, really. Zynga looks like a textbook example of what happens when you expand way too fast and cutting a bunch of that fat off will definitely help the company. I just worry that Mattrick will replace that bloat with his own heaping helping of the stuff in order to capitalize on the growth of mobile platforms.

I hope he understands that one well designed social game that makes paying for items a fun experience will be worth way more than a hundred near broken games that beats you over the head with store items.

Edit: Sorry, double post.

"So staff what did the total top down review tell us?"

"Well sir, #1 The customers really hate us... Like a lot. They kept laughing at us. It was like we were back in high school. #2 The customers and gamers really really hate you sir. I mean really hate. I still have nightmares over the things they threatened to do to you sir. It was like being back in High School Gym class."

Wait, Zynga has developers?

I thought they had copy/pasters.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

So... his plan to turn Zynga around is to get back to basics and break bad habits...

When Zynga was started and ran by NOTHING BUT bad habits. Did he by chance miss the fact that Zynga's founder admitted quite happily that he scammed and cheated his way into getting Zynga formed and running?

Unless, of course, Mr. Mattrick is thinking of pulling a Hattrick by switching back to "scam-and-fraud" mode and making Zynga heavily "Successful" a third time. Which means the bad habits would be them trying to bring themselves to what might amount to a decent developer/publisher now....

God, I find this funny on too many levels.

LordMonty:
This man is a questionable spin doctor at best... I may be cruel but could he as the saying goes 'organise a piss up in a brewery'? Good luck Zynga.

Unless you end up in packaging and distribution it can be pretty hard to get one of those started.

A better comeback (although rather less PC) would be 'organise an orgy in a whorehouse.'

And lets be honest, after the Xboner disaster I doubt he could deliver one of those either.

That is some buzzwords right there. He should change his name to Don Beehive.

Ba-dum, tss.

"Back to the basics"?

Uh... how exactly DOES one get more basic than a Zynga game and business model?

Does his plan involve insulting and ignoring the user base?

-Ezio-:
for "turn around" read "run into the ground"

Well, if he spins fast enough, he can drill into the ground like wile E Coyote.

I'm pretty sure Step 1 would be "Have a creative team" changed to "have a creative team"...

LordMonty:
This man is a questionable spin doctor at best...

By "spin" do you mean openly insulting your consumer base and in some cases flat-out telling them to NOT buy your product? :P

Seriously, I consider myself a reasonable person...well, reasonably reasonable. But every time I see a picture of this guy (especially the one that's serving as the link-pic from the main page into this article) I just get the overwhelming urge to punch my computer screen...

Steven Bogos:
Mattrick outlined a 90-day plan for the company, where he plans to get "under the hood to evaluate" Zynga's business, conduct "top-to-bottom business reviews and [work] with our leaders to calibrate against the market opportunity and to go after it with a real sense of urgency" and spend time "heads down" with developers to improve product quality.

What an overly complicated way to say "I'm going to sort through the paperwork, talk to the people, then see if I can figure out where it's gone wrong"

Simple, Romney it. Mine the pensions, hide the assets then burn the building down and collect the insurance.

Honestly it is Zynga. Nothing of value would be lost anyway.

He wants to reorganize a company that employs code monkeys to copy/paste worthless shit? Good luck with that.

Well, best case scenario, it works, Mattrick grew a brain between the Xbox One and now, and Zynga begins to make good games that are not riddled with money-grabbing and are somewhat good to play. Worst case scenario, Zynga eventually dies thanks to its ridiculously derivative approach, and I never have to see a Zynga game again. Or have I got those round the other way...

lacktheknack:
"Back to the basics"?

Uh... how exactly DOES one get more basic than a Zynga game and business model?

Looking for old abondonware, and churning out an isometric clone designed to keep people clicking for coins for hours at a time.

Good that he's in a place where he can't do any real damage. Is it wrong of me to want this all to go horribly wrong for everyone involved? I suppose it is...

Step One: Make Zynga unavailable to those with sketchy internet connections.
Step Two: Force utilization of Kinect with any Zynga game.
Step Three: Require it to be always on.

GENIUS!

Then let everyone decide to go to PopCap instead.

Right. And HE is the person for the job. A living embodiment of dreadful, awful PR himself.

Words fail me.

Mattrick outlined a 90-day plan for the company, where he plans to get "under the hood to evaluate" Zynga's business, conduct "top-to-bottom business reviews and [work] with our leaders to calibrate against the market opportunity and to go after it with a real sense of urgency" and spend time "heads down" with developers to improve product quality.

Mmm, management non-speak.

"It's clear that the market opportunity around us is growing at an incredible clip," said Mattrick, adding "It's also clear that today we are missing out on the platform growth that Apple, Google and Facebook are seeing."

It's cute that he's aiming for the clouds and thinking he can get Zynga up there with the giants.

"While we've got a lot of work to do, I see a lot of opportunity in having the collection of people we've assembled."

Granted modern American parlance often seems to do things like this (as a Brit reading/listening to press releases and official statements, they often sound oddly disjointed to me) but that doesn't seem like a complete sentence. Seems like the word 'assembled' should be followed by either 'fired' or 'lined up and shot'.

Johny_X2:
Words fail me.

They fail Mattrick even more.

OT: Maybe he can turn Zynga into something resembling a developer. Not very likely, but weirder things have happened. He'll probably fire a bunch of people though.

Am I the only one that immediately thought of the following when reading the headline?

Step 1 turn Zynga around
Step 2 enter from the rear
Step 3 ???
Step 4 profit

I mean seriously, the chances of him doing anything but siphoning all the assets he can before burning it to the ground are very long odds.

I swear, every time I see this guys photo, it makes me think someone looked up 'Corporate Douchebag' and created some kind of android to specification.

Don Mattrick's Guaranteed Success Plan (C)(R)(TM) Patent Pending

1: Sign up to the PRISM programme
2: Shove in as much advertising as possible
3: ?
4: Become as unto gods
5: Hookers and blow

Don Mattrick:
[work] with our leaders to calibrate against the market opportunity and to go after it with a real sense of urgency"...

...

Don Mattrick:
[work] with our leaders to calibrate against the market opportunity and to go after it with a real sense of urgency"...

Okay, well I'm going to go see if my friends can tell me what that means because as a native English speaker, I can't understand it. How do you work against that which you want to pursue? What?

shirkbot:

Don Mattrick:
[work] with our leaders to calibrate against the market opportunity and to go after it with a real sense of urgency"...

...

Don Mattrick:
[work] with our leaders to calibrate against the market opportunity and to go after it with a real sense of urgency"...

Okay, well I'm going to go see if my friends can tell me what that means because as a native English speaker, I can't understand it. How do you work against that which you want to pursue? What?

It means he is going to take a collaborative approach to long-term goal oriented initiatives in order to capitalize on new and improved next generation metrics. This will in turn provide a platform for world class partnerships focused on flexible, value added innovation.

Tumedus:

shirkbot:

Don Mattrick:
[work] with our leaders to calibrate against the market opportunity and to go after it with a real sense of urgency"...

...

Don Mattrick:
[work] with our leaders to calibrate against the market opportunity and to go after it with a real sense of urgency"...

Okay, well I'm going to go see if my friends can tell me what that means because as a native English speaker, I can't understand it. How do you work against that which you want to pursue? What?

It means he is going to take a collaborative approach to long-term goal oriented initiatives in order to capitalize on new and improved next generation metrics. This will in turn provide a platform for world class partnerships focused on flexible, value added innovation.

And synergy, never forget synergy. It's an important global strategy to perpetuate goal focused incentives that aim to drive down unpositive reinforcements opporunities in the market experience.

Lance Icarus:
In the most corporate way possible, he's basically saying he's going to downsize like a mother trucker and help cut the tremendous amount of bloat at Zynga. Not a bad plan, really. Zynga looks like a textbook example of what happens when you expand way too fast and cutting a bunch of that fat off will definitely help the company. I just worry that Mattrick will replace that bloat with his own heaping helping of the stuff in order to capitalize on the growth of mobile platforms.

I hope he understands that one well designed social game that makes paying for items a fun experience will be worth way more than a hundred near broken games that beats you over the head with store items.

Mattrick will probably do something wrong or something completely right. He's a corporate man so he knows how to handle numbers and organizational issues. The problems will come from any influence of the Microsoft model that he uses; as people have said, he overcomplicated the new Xbox and sank its PR into the ground. Unfortunately, I have no confidence on the games as ,in short term, the gains from beating people over the head with P2W and the like are too high and alluring for Zynga to be responsible with their products

008Zulu:

lacktheknack:
"Back to the basics"?

Uh... how exactly DOES one get more basic than a Zynga game and business model?

Looking for old abondonware, and churning out an isometric clone designed to keep people clicking for coins for hours at a time.

I said "more" basic, not "exactly the same".

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