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Zynga Gets New CEO
Tuesday June 2,2013 : SOCIAL GAMING GIANT GETS A NEW CEO
Pincus remains chairman at Zynga in appointing former Microsoft exec to the chief executive hot seat
Zynga founder Mark Pincus has handed his chief executive officer responsibilities over to former top Microsoft exec Don Mattrick, but will remain as chairman and chief product officer of the social gaming giant.
Zynga announced the switch in a press release Monday, whilst Microsoft confirmed Mattrick's departure, noting that for now his former subordinates would report to CEO Steve Ballmer.
As exec responsible for Xbox operations, Mattrick was at the centre of the recent Xbox One launch and subsequent controversy over players’ ability to rent or sell their game discs. In the end Microsoft reversed the policy after many complaints, making the announcement in a blog post signed by Mattrick.
Mattrick said of his new job: “Zynga is a great business that has yet to realize its full potential. I’m proud to partner with Mark to deliver high-quality, fun, social games wherever people want to play.”
Last month, Zynga retrenched 18 percent of its workforce as the company, troubled also by an exodus of senior managers struggled to survive.
In an email to employees announcing the management changes, Pincus noted that he had always said that if he could find an exec whom he thought could run the company better than he, he would be prepared to stand down and appoint him.
"I’m confident that Don is that leader,” Pincus, who owns 61 percent of Zynga's equity, wrote.
Mattrick’s management experience other than Microsoft includes a 15-year stint with Electronic Arts.
Zynga shares soared 15 percent on news of the management change, although the stock price still has a long way to go before it can recapture the heydays of the company two years or more ago.
Coincidentally, on Monday the publication Venture Beat reported on Zynga following the publication of a new social gaming study by research firm Eilers Research.
The study claimed that Caesars Interactive Entertainment has toppled Zynga as the No. 1 publisher of social casino games in a competitive market that is now worth $1.2 billion worldwide, thanks to growth in demand, increased startup activity, and a series of high-profile acquisitions.
CIE, a subsidiary of Nevada land gambling giant Caesars Entertainment, acquired Israel’s Playtika in 2011 and picked up popular social games such as Slotomania. Now, that title as well as Slotomania Adventures, Bingo Blitz (acquired with the purchase of Buffalo Studios), and Caesars Casino have pushed Caesar’s to the No. 1 position with 18.6 percent of the overall market in the second quarter, Eilers Research found.
VentureBeat reports that by comparison, Zynga has 15 percent of the market it previously dominated with popul,ar games like Zynga Poker. It has expanded to titles Zynga Slingo, Zynga Slots, and Zynga Bingo, and it recently acquired Spooky Cool Labs as part of an expansion in the space,
The Eilers study positioned IGT in the No. 3 position with 14 percent of the market thanks to its $500 million acquisition of Double Down Interactive, with WMS in the No. 4 spot with JackpotParty operations.
Overall, social casino game revenues on Facebook were down 2 percent from the previous quarter to $309 million.
Zynga lost market share in the quarter due to double-digit percentage declines in users for Zynga Poker on both Facebook and mobile platforms. Big Fish Games’ Big Fish Casino is the largest standalone social casino app on mobile with an estimated $14.5 million in quarterly revenues, mostly from iOS sources.
The overall market is expected to grow 67 percent this year to $2 billion by the end of the 2013, Eilers said.
Betradar Launches US Sports Betting Solutions -
With only a few weeks to go until the betting and gambling world descends on ICE in London, Betradar have today announced that they will be launching a comprehensive range of tools and services to any company that will be looking to provide sports betting in a post-PASPA United States.
Final 12 For MPNPT Morocco -
Sunday on the MPN Poker Tour Morocco will see several trophies awarded at the Mazagan Beach Resort, with the largest going to the Main Event champion along with a prize of MAD 400,000 (c.€35,400).
MPNPT Morocco Updates -
Leading the 104 combined survivors from both flights is still Said El-Yousfi with 272,000 chips; visit the MPN Poker Tour blog for an end-of-day recap and full chip counts.
MPN Poker Tour Morocco Day 1A -
The MPN Poker Tour has returned to Morocco this week (January 11-14), featuring the MAD 1.5 million guaranteed Main Event, accompanying side events, and the activities and parties for which this tour has now become known on two continents.
2018 MPN Poker Classic -
The MPN announces the return of The Classic tournament series this January. The series is back following its successful €350,000 guaranteed debut in 2017. This time €500,000 is guaranteed, along with a once in a lifetime trip to Monaco for the Classic Champion.
PDC and Sportradar Renew Deal -
Following this month’s hugely successful World Championship, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and long-standing partners Sportradar have renewed their multi-faceted cooperation that will see the leader in sports data and content continuing in their role as official data
Poker Yaar Joins MPN -
Available through download, instant play and mobile, Pokeryaar.com is live with Omaha, Hold’em and Five-Card poker variants, alongside MPN’s Fish Party, the industry’s only progressive jackpot SNGs.
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