UPDATE: Internal e-mails within Microsoft and Zynga confirm that Don Mattrick will take the CEO job at Zynga, effective July 8th. Steve Ballmer will take over Mattrick's role, at least in the short term. Below is the internal Microsoft e-mail from Ballmer.
From: Steve Ballmer
Sent: Monday, July 1, 2013
To: Microsoft – All Employees
Subject: Don Mattrick’s Next Chapter
Zynga announced today that Don Mattrick would be its new CEO, effective July 8. This is a great opportunity for Don, and I wish him success. Don’s directs will report to me and will continue to drive the day-to-day business as a team, particularly focused on shipping Xbox One this holiday.
Since joining IEB more than six years ago, Don and his team have accomplished much. Xbox Live members grew from 6 million to 48 million. Xbox 360 became the No. 1 selling console in North America the past two years. We introduced Kinect and have sold more than 24 million sensors. We released fantastic games, and, most importantly, we expanded Xbox to go beyond great gaming to deliver all the entertainment people want — sports, music, movies, live television and much more.
In the past month, the IEB team showed for the first time here on our Redmond campus, and again at E3, how we are going to continue to transform entertainment with Xbox One. I am incredibly proud of the work and vision culminating in Xbox One.
I’m particularly excited about how Xbox pushes forward our devices and services transformation by bringing together the best of Microsoft. The consoles are incredible all-in-one devices with built-in services that consumers love, including Bing, Xbox Live, Internet Explorer, SkyDrive and Skype. And, just as important, Xbox Games, Xbox Video, Xbox Music and SmartGlass light up Windows PCs, tablets and phones.
Thank you, Don, for setting us on a path to completely redefine the entertainment industry. The strong leadership team at IEB and their teams are well positioned to deliver the next-generation entertainment console, as well as transformative entertainment experiences, long into the future.
Zynga also sent out an internal e-mail and posted it to their company blog.
ORIGINAL STORY: Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment unit, is reportedly on the move. AllThingsD is reporting that Mattrick has taken a top-level job at Zynga, possibly the CEO position. The move would be big news for Zynga, which has struggled to move its business to mobile platforms following the popularity decline of its web and Facebook games.
Though this comes as a surprise to the public, Mattrick and Zynga have apparently been in talks together for some time, according to the AllThingsD report. Mattrick was also rumored to be a candidate for the CEO position at Electronic Arts.
Mattrick joined Microsoft in 2007. Under Mattrick's watch, the Xbox 360's install base grew from 10 million to 80 million worldwide and Xbox Live subscriptions increased from 6 million to 50 million. Most recently, he was the flagbearer for the Xbox One and its DRM and used game restrictions at E3, which have since been rescinded.