Ousted Zynga Founder Rides Back in, Stock Craters

Mark Pincus takes CEO slot from guy hired to clean up his mess
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 9, 2015 12:47 PM CDT
Ousted Zynga Founder Rides Back in, Stock Craters
In this 2012 file photo, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus talks at headquarters in San Francisco. Effective Wednesday, April 8, 2015, Pincus is back as CEO.   (Paul Sakuma)

The return of Zynga founder Mark Pincus as the digital game maker's CEO is bringing back bad memories about the problems that prompted him to step down nearly two years ago. Zynga's stock shed 43 cents, or nearly 15%, to $2.47 in today's trading as investors reacted to an abrupt change in command announced late yesterday. Don Mattrick, a former Microsoft executive recruited to clean up a mess that Pincus helped create, resigned as CEO, effective immediately. Pincus, Zynga's controlling shareholder, moved back into the CEO job.

With Pincus at the helm, Zynga lost more than $600 million in 2011 and 2012 as once-trendy games like "FarmVille" fell out of favor. The downturn also battered Zynga's stock, pressuring Pincus to get help from a new CEO. (Read more Zynga stories.)

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