Amid Shakeup At Zynga, Founder Mark Pincus Steps Down As Chief Product Officer

Pincus, the company’s largest shareholder, will serve as nonexecutive chairman of Zynga’s board.

Amid Shakeup At Zynga, Founder Mark Pincus Steps Down As Chief Product Officer
[Image: Alice Truong/Fast Company]

Zynga founder Mark Pincus announced Wednesday he is stepping down as chief product officer from the social gaming company. He will no longer have an operational role at the company, and will serve as non-executive chairman of Zynga’s board.

“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,” he wrote in an email to employees. “I’m confident that [CEO Don Mattrick], along with our amazing creative and technical product leaders will continue to focus on innovating in social gaming, driving mobile growth and building out our strong franchises.”

The shakeup at the top of Zynga also includes the appointment of Alex Garden as president of Zynga Studios and Henry LaBounta as the company’s first chief visual officer.

In a conference call with investors, Mattrick, who left Microsoft’s Xbox division 10 months ago to take the top job at Zynga, thanked Pincus for his work since founding the company in 2007. “Since that time, Mark has built Zynga into an entertainment leader, turning brands like FarmVille, Words With Friends, and Zynga Poker into household names and daily habits for hundreds of millions of consumers,” he said.

In the first quarter, Zynga reported a $61.2 million loss, compared with a $4.1 million profit in the same period last year. Revenue declined 36% to $168 million from the year-earlier period.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.



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