Thursday April 24 ,2014 :  PINCUS BOWS OUT OF OPERATIONAL MATTERS AT ZYNGA
 
Founder defers to the "one captain" concept.
 
Mark Pincus, the founder of the San Francisco social gaming giant Zynga, has announced that he is to distance himself from all operational activity in the group and will now focus on the role of chairman and main shareholder of the group.
 
Pincus appointed Microsoft veteran Don Mattrick as CEO in June 2013
 
“I had wanted to stay on doing the product role for a while, because I wanted to put my hands on the product and make sure the company continued to also pursue its social mission,” said Pincus. “Don and some of the existing team and new people really embraced that and ultimately a ship is better with one captain putting a hand on the wheel.
 
“I am going to invest in ideas that I think can be breakthrough products, and I don’t feel any burning need to go out and start a company,” he said, adding that he was still interested mostly in the consumer Internet space.
 
This week Zynga delivered a weak set of quarterly results that showed the loss of more players.
 
During the quarter Zynga had 28 million daily active users – that's 1m more than it had in the previous quarter. However, viewed on a y-o-y basis, last year the company could boast 53 million daily active users.
 
This quarter it had 86 million monthly unique users, compared to 150 million in the first quarter of 2013….in a year, Zynga saw almost half of its players move on.
 
During the quarter revenue was $168 million, a worrying decrease of 36 percent compared to the first quarter of 2013 and a decrease of five percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.
 
Zynga made a net loss of $61 million for the quarter – down from net income of $4 million for the first quarter of 2013.
 
Mattrick has taken an optimistic view, Zynga Poker had enjoyed sequential quarterly growth in bookings for the first time in seven quarters, and has grown its mobile audience by 19 percent – its strongest mobile audience growth in the last two years.
 
"We have established a strong base for 2014 and believe we are pacing well for a year of growth," he said.
 
In other Zynga-related news, Mattrick has hired Alex Garden, with whom he worked at Microsoft on the Xbox project, as president of Zynga Studios.