CEO Don Mattrick Says Zynga Turnaround Is Going Great
Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) CEO Don Mattrick said that the mobile video game company is about halfway through his turnaround efforts at a Game Developers Conference party hosted by Covert & Co. According to a report from Re/code, this was Mattrick’s first public appearance since he left his executive position at Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to join Zynga last summer, at which point he undertook a massive turnaround effort for the struggling mobile game maker.
Though he was tight-lipped on the details — we’ll find out more when Zynga reports its earnings for the first quarter of 2014 next month — Mattrick did say he’s optimistic about the the company’s progress and compared it to his early years at developer Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA). “To me, it feels like 1991 when EA was going public,” he said, per Re/code. “We grew from 1 to 25 percent market share” by “making purposeful bets.”
Zynga has made some bets of its own recently, having acquired the U.K.-based game maker NaturalMotion early last month for $527 million. NaturalMotion employs a game strategy more focused on creating a quality experience than maximizing monetization, something that represents a change in strategy for Zynga. NaturalMotion is behind the popular mobile games CSR Racing and Clumsy Ninja.
The company announced that acquisition along with better-than-expected financial results for both the fourth quarter of 2013 and the full year. Mattrick also raised the company’s forecast for 2014, and we’ll see if Zynga meets those expectations when its report for the first quarter is released.