The Head Of Xbox, Don Mattrick, Has Left Microsoft
Well, I for one was not excepting something this drastic to happen just yet. Microsoft’s Xbox Division is currently going through a bit of a re-structure, but some late news last night revealed that the Head of the Xbox division at Microsoft, Don Mattrick, has left the company and taken up the role of CEO at Farmville creator, Zynga. Yes, I’m not making this shit up I swear it.
CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, confirmed the move after some initial reports last night, with Zynga announcing their new CEO to the world shortly after. Mattrick has been the face of Xbox ever since his move to Microsoft from EA in 2007. During his time at the company Mattrick help usher in the Kinect, support the Xbox 360 against the colossal Wii competition and finally introduce the world to the next-generation Xbox. It’s probably the last act that got him to leave the company.
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Because it would be foolish to think that Mattrick just up and left on his own. Right?
While Mattrick has already confirmed his position at Microsoft, it has been rumoured that he was also approached by none other than EA, most probably to fill the vacant CEO position they’ve had for a few months now. Unlike previous replacements Steve Ballmer has yet to announce one for Mattrick, instead temporarily taking over the Xbox division himself. An email was sent out by the CEO about Mattrick’s departure.
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.
My personal view? Someone had to take the flak for the “poor” design choices (or lack of proper communication of the new features) surrounding the Xbox One, and with such negative feedback one can only look to the man in charge. Don Mattrick may have left on his own terms, to become a CEO no less, but I doubt he was not encouraged to move on as well.