UPDATE: Don Mattrick’s move to Zynga is now official, with Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, temporarily taking over his duties. See the full e-mail below.
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.
ORIGINAL STORY: Don Mattrick, President of Interactive Entertainment at Microsoft and a prominent face in the Xbox One scene, may be leaving the company before the next-gen console even gets close to launch. Sources close to the issue say it may even happen as soon as later today, as well as the possibility that Mattrick may be moving to troubled mobile game developer Zynga, possibly in a high-level management role.
Mattrick has been at the head of the Xbox One reveal and the turbulent weeks that followed, largely centered around the console’s radical connection and security policies. Mattrick and Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb have even been seen contradicting one another when talking facts, leading some to question the direction of the company. The announcement of a “restructuring” by Microsoft last week may be a strong indicator that Mattrick’s move is likely.
Stay tuned as we continue to track this developing story, as well as the potential fallout.