Troubled Zynga replaces CEO, plans 10 launches - Mobile World Live

Troubled Zynga replaces CEO, plans 10 launches

03 MAR 2016

Games maker Zynga said Frank Gibeau will replace founder Mark Pincus as CEO effective 7 March, a move which comes shortly after it revealed its mobile audience shrank in 2015.

Pincus was re-installed as CEO just under a year ago, after stepping down from the post in 2013. He will now serve as executive chairman of the board.

“I will focus on driving our vision and working with a small number of live and new product teams to help drive innovative new social experiences for our players,” Pincus said, adding that he had recruited Gibeau seven months ago to become an active board member to advise and coach Zynga’s teams.

“Frank has been a big supporter of our move to smaller more nimble teams. We have worked well together and share a common vision for Zynga around mobile and social gaming,” he said.

“He has the experience to quickly navigate the kinds of challenges we face on a weekly basis. He has a proven 25-year track record having helped architect the successful turnaround of Electronic Arts,” he added.

He explained that the company’s main objective on new games has been to “position the company for predictable growth and profitability”, while also creating new franchises.

To do this, it prioritised social experiences and long-term player retention, which led to delays in some of its “biggest releases”, like Dawn of Titans and CSR2. However, it is now set to launch ten new titles this year.

“As we exit the year with this slate of new games launched and in the market, we expect to have changed our mix of R&D and unlaunched slate to live, revenue generating games which will improve our company’s predictability, profitability and growth,” said Pincus.

Zynga still seeing losses
According to Forbes, “Pincus, the billionaire social gaming pioneer, failed to turn around the flagging company during his 11 months of leadership”.

The company reported a loss of $117.2 million in 2015, although this was down from $225.9 million in 2014. Revenue was up 10.8 per cent to $764.7 million.

Gibeau said he believes “the full promise of Zynga and social gaming has yet to be fully realised. We believe Zynga has an opportunity to create new social experiences to connect even more players together.”

“We will continue to invest in our talent and build on our empowered, entrepreneurial culture. We must commit to a new level of operational excellence with focused execution, engineered hits and strong cost discipline,” he said.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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