Mark Pincus tries again to save Zynga, stepping in as CEO

Pincus will replace CEO Don Mattrick, who took the helm less than two years ago

Zynga founder Mark Pincus, pictured at the company's San Francisco office in 2011.

Zynga founder Mark Pincus, pictured at the company's San Francisco office in 2011.

Zynga founder Mark Pincus is rejoining the gaming company as CEO effective immediately, replacing Don Mattrick, who led Zynga for less than two years.

The executive shuffle comes after the company struggled in recent years to maintain its early growth rate. It hired Mattrick in 2013 to help restore Zynga's business and expand its user base.

Zynga, founded in 2007, found success in its early years with games like "FarmVille" and "Zynga Poker." It won early success publishing its games through Facebook but has since shifted focus to mobile versions. The company makes its money primarily through advertising and through users' purchases of virtual goods.

Zynga reported a net loss of US$45 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. In 2013 it laid off more than 500 employees, or 18 percent of its workforce.

Pincus's return is surprising, because he led the company during its downturn as well as in its heady early days. Pincus recently started his own startup incubator, Superlabs.

"It's time to renew our focus on our vision to make play and social games a mass market activity," Pincus said in a statement Wednesday on Zynga's site.

Pincus signaled he may double down on the company's mobile offerings, praising in particular Zynga's acquisition of "Clumsy Ninja" developer NaturalMotion.

"I am inspired by our upcoming products," Pincus said, citing titles like "Empires & Allies" and "FarmVille: Harvest Swap."

Zynga didn't say much more about the reasons for the change. The company's stock fell roughly 10 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesZyngagamessocial networkingbusiness managementsocial mediainternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?