He’s back. Today, following the cessation of trading, Zynga announced that its former CEO Mark Pincus will return to the role. Now-prior CEO Don Mattrick is out of two chairs: The one atop the company’s leadership structure and his seat on the board.
The company’s shares fell more than 10 percent in the wake of the news, but have since recovered to a more modest negative 8 percent. Investors do not appear wildly enthused about the change, perhaps for no other reason than the fact that leadership transitions are often sufficient smoke to call fire.
Zynga has been improving from a financial perspective for some time. The company recently reported several quarters of revenue growth, and narrowing losses on both dollar and per-share terms. Zynga remains well-capitalized.
In a statement, Pincus noted that under Mattrick’s leadership, the company grew its mobile bookings to 60 percent of revenue from 27 percent when the joined. Zynga is infamous for being slow to transition from Facebook’s platform to the mobile gaming revolution that we continue to experience as an industry.
Before the news was announced, Zynga was worth $2.57 billion. Presuming a 10 percent loss on the news, Zynga’s value will remain comfortably over the $2 billion mark.
The news came as a surprise. The installation of Mattrick as leader after he didn’t win CEO Bingo at Microsoft wasn’t wildly shocking. That the executive would depart this quickly is more notable. A source familiar with Mattrick’s time at Microsoft told TechCrunch that the executive was intelligent and well-liked. It isn’t clear what precipitated the change.
For now, Zynga has its old leader back to direct the company out of the cold.