One More Role Of Founders
When I read that my old friend Mark Pincus has returned to Zynga as CEO, it struck me as an important example of the unique role that a founder plays at a startup. This moment highlights the importance of founders, precisely because Zynga already had a capable and accomplished CEO. Don Mattrick is a seriously experienced and successful executive, whether at EA, where he ran a global collection of studios, at Microsoft, where he launched the Kinect and ran XBox, or at Zynga, where over the past two years, he’s led the company through the challenging transition from relying on the Facebook platform to becoming a major player in mobile gaming.
Moreover, Don and Mark have always had a good working relationship. Mark was instrumental in recruiting Don to Zynga, and one of the things I know from my personal conversations with Mark is that he’s placed a tremendous value on what Don has taught him, especially in managing a large-scale company and integrating traditional gaming into Internet gaming. So why make a change?