Zynga founder Mark Pincus says he will no longer have an “operating role” at the company.
Big changes are afoot at Zynga, the once-mighty engine of Facebook gaming that’s fallen on tougher times over the past year or so. The most recent of them may be largely symbolic, but it’s a big one nonetheless, as founder Mark Pincus has announced that he will no longer be involved with the company’s day-to-day operations.
“I’m writing today to share that I have decided to change my role to non-executive Chairman,” Pincus said in a message to Zynga employees. “This means that, while I’ll still keep an office at Zynga, and be active in supporting the company, I will not have an operating role. Most importantly, I remain Zynga’s largest shareholder and biggest believer.”
Pincus expressed “full faith” in the leadership of CEO Don Mattrick, who left Microsoft to take the helm at Zynga last year, and said that while the turnaround effort is still in the early stages, “we can already see exciting milestones like Zynga Poker returning to growth, FarmVille 2’s recent mobile launch (hitting #1 free US iPad app this week) and the addition of the talent, technology and IP from NaturalMotion.”
In his own message, Mattrick thanked Pincus for his “dedicated service” to the company and said the two of them “will continue to be close partners and work together to achieve our winning aspiration to be the at scale industry leader by delivering more number-one games in more categories than any other competitor.” He also announced the appointment of several new executives, including former Microsoft executive Alex Garden, who is taking over as president of Zynga Studios.
“I met Alex 25 years ago when he began his career working as a game tester for Distinctive Software, which I founded in 1982,” Mattrick said. “He is an exciting hire for us as we focus on growing and sustaining our franchises, creating breakthrough entertainment experiences and developing more creative leadership across Zynga.”