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Zynga Up 10 Percent After Announcing New CEO (ZNGA)

Shares of Zynga (NASDAQ: ZYNGA) were up more than 10 percent after the company announced in a press release that it had appointed Don Mattrick as CEO and a member of its board of directors as of July 8, 2013.

The announcement was made official at 4:00 p.m. but looking at the chart, the learned of it sometime around 1:00 p.m. when the stock suddenly vaulted to the upside.

According to the press release, Don Mattrick has 30 years of experience developing profitable entrainment business. He comes to Zynga from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) where he was the head of the company’s Xbox division. Current CEO Mark Pincus said he was steppping down as CEO but will remain chief product officer.

The company has struggled to gain footing as the mobile landscape has changed and high value employees left the company. Sales were down 18 percent during the first quarter forcing the gaming company to look for other revenue streams including real money gambling in Europe.

Pincus said,

 “Don is unique in the game business. He can execute in multiple domains — hardware, software and network, and he’s been the person responsible for game franchises like ‘Need for Speed,’ ‘FIFA’ and ‘The Sims.’ He’s one of the top executives in the overall entertainment business and he’s a great coach who has inspired people to do their best work and build strong, productive teams. He deeply understands the value of a network and the importance of creating lifelong consumer relationships. He turned Xbox into the world’s largest console-gaming network, growing its installed base from 10 to 80 million and transformed that business from deep losses to substantial profits. And he has grown the Xbox Live player network from 6 to 50 million active members in 41 countries. Going forward, I’ll continue in my role as Chairman and Chief Product Officer. I’m excited to partner with Don and the rest of our team to return Zynga to its leadership role in inventing and growing Play as a core human experience.”

[stock-tools exchange="NASDAQ" symbol="ZNGA" image_height="230" image_width="350"]

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the equities mentioned.

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