Don Mattrick, Zynga CEO

There’s new chief in town – Don Mattrick, the new CEO of social gaming company Zynga.

Don Mattrick, new Zynga boss

Don Mattrick, new Zynga boss

Well, well, well, if you check Mattrick’s tracks, clearly you’d see that he’s built a career in interactive entertainment. From DSI which he founded and that is known for racing and sports games to holding various leadership positions with Electronic Arts, the company which acquired DSI in 1991. Then to joining Microsoft as its SVP running its Xbox 360 and PC gaming businesses from July 2007 onwards. And in the process being credited for turning around the Xbox business as well as growing Kinect – Mattrick was then recognized by Fortune in August 2011 as one of the ”Smartest People in Tech 2011” and by CNN Money as among the Top 10 Brilliant Technology Visionaries in March 2012.

These achievements were followed by the unveiling of the new Xbox One and then an update on Xbox Wire before joining Zynga as its new chief executive last July 1, 2013. Well, it’s been a great ride so far and it’s just about to get more interesting in his newfound camp.

And so, like what most new CEOs would do, Mattrick decided to spend his “grace period” reviewing the current situation of Zynga on top of shaking up his management team – focus is the name of the game.

Nonetheless, there are a few things I’d like to point out here.

Sense of urgency. Streamlining. Office at the middle of FarmVille. Cease in the pursuit of online gambling. A foresight of 2-4 quarters of volatility.

These moves speaks of a Leader who understands the situation and wants to get things done; who wants to get closer to the action yet recognizes the fact that a turn-around would take a year; and one who realizes the potential of a company and so recalibrates its efforts towards efficiency and effectiveness. Nevertheless, it would be better if he doesn’t talk much about volatility in public but simply within his ranks and shareholders – this way, he’d help them gather strength and momentum.

Though Mattrick’s initial steps made a good foundation – it’s the execution, timing, flexibility of plans, inner strength along with the consistency of thought that would ensure Success. Can he keep up?

Now, the real journey begins.

What’s your take?

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