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Microsoft Reportedly Tried to Buy Zynga Before Mattrick Became CEO

Jul 8 2013, 7:05am CDT | by , in News | Misc

Microsoft Reportedly Tried to Buy Zynga Before Mattrick Became CEO

According to a new report out recently, Microsoft tried to buy Zynga some time in the past. And who should the buyer turn out to be? The current CEO of Zynga, Don Mattrick. Back then he was the chief of the Xbox department at Microsoft.

Don Mattrick joined Zynga in the capacity of CEO some time back. After leaving Microsoft, he expressed his delight since he had always admired Zynga. The gaming company was in dire straits and Don Mattrick came as a Godsend. A recent report divulges that while he was at Microsoft, Mattrick entered into negotiations with Mark Pincus regarding acquisition of games such as Farmville. According to Bloomberg, the talks proved fruitless though. Meanwhile, Zynga’s popularity rating took a nosedive on Facebook. This whole episode took place three years ago. Had it gone as per plan, Microsoft would have somehow shuffled Zynga among its products and services. But it was not to be.

Farmville meanwhile went on to reach record heights of fame and fortune. Zynga’s kismet plummeted thereby prompting Don Mattrick to switch allegiance from Microsoft to the gaming company instead. Besides, Microsoft was going to undergo some restructuring, so Don Mattrick’s decision to leave was wise indeed. He also was keen on a more prominent position within Microsoft which was for the time being impossible. After Mattrick left, the CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer took over the reins of the Xbox department. Now Don Mattrick is all set to lead Zynga back to its former glory days.

Part of the reason behind Don Mattrick’s radical shift from one company to another was his growing friendship with Mark Pincus. The two got very chummy as time passed and so one fine day Don Mattrick accepted the invitation to become CEO of Zynga. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s previous methods of using Don Mattrick as bait to buy out Farmville from Zynga proved to be a blind alley.

Currently, Don Mattrick is earning a pay package of $50 million that might just motivate him to really take Zynga to the top again. However, a previous acquisition of Zynga by Microsoft would have been an easier way to accomplish the same thing. Don Mattrick is still new at Zynga and needs to get his bearings right. He will tread a road not taken before and that will make all the difference.  

Image Credit: Getty Images

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