Mattrick's gone (yay!) BUT...Ballmer's in charge (uh oh)...

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will oversee the firm's Xbox business following the departure of the former head of Interactive Entertainment Business, Don Mattrick.

It was confirmed today that Mattrick has been appointed chief executive at social games firm Zynga, effective July 8, 2013.

In an internal email sent by Ballmer today, shared online via official Microsoft channels, the CEO advised Mattrick's directs to report to Ballmer himself, as it appears the company has no immediate replacement for the departing exec.

It's unclear if this is a temporary measure, or if Microsoft is actively seeking a candidate for the position, which will be crucial as the November launch of Xbox One approaches.

Here's the email in full:

"Zynga announced today that Don Mattrick would be its new CEO, effective July 8. This is a great opportunity for Don, and I wish him success. Don's directs will report to me and will continue to drive the day-to-day business as a team, particularly focused on shipping Xbox One this holiday.

"Since joining IEB more than six years ago, Don and his team have accomplished much. Xbox Live members grew from 6 million to 48 million. Xbox 360 became the No. 1 selling console in North America the past two years. We introduced Kinect and have sold more than 24 million sensors. We released fantastic games, and, most importantly, we expanded Xbox to go beyond great gaming to deliver all the entertainment people want - sports, music, movies, live television and much more.

"In the past month, the IEB team showed for the first time here on our Redmond campus, and again at E3, how we are going to continue to transform entertainment with Xbox One. I am incredibly proud of the work and vision culminating in Xbox One.

"I'm particularly excited about how Xbox pushes forward our devices and services transformation by bringing together the best of Microsoft. The consoles are incredible all-in-one devices with built-in services that consumers love, including Bing, Xbox Live, Internet Explorer, SkyDrive and Skype. And, just as important, Xbox Games, Xbox Video, Xbox Music and SmartGlass light up Windows PCs, tablets and phones.

"Thank you, Don, for setting us on a path to completely redefine the entertainment industry. The strong leadership team at IEB and their teams are well positioned to deliver the next-generation entertainment console, as well as transformative entertainment experiences, long into the future."


Mattrick's departure comes several months ahead of the global launch of Microsoft's third major games console.

Bye Don. :hiya:

Let's hope this doesn't become a case of Be careful what you wish for.

I'm glad Mattrick's gone, but Ballmer heading up the XBOX Division...? :eek:
 

RedAl

Distinguished Member
Bye Don. :hiya:

Let's hope this doesn't become a case of Be careful what you wish for.

I'm glad Mattrick's gone, but Ballmer heading up the XBOX Division...? :eek:

Whats this guy like? I`m so out of touch with all these top execs.
 

RedAl

Distinguished Member
Check you tube for one of the most cringe worthy E3 moments EVER!!!

I`ll stop drinking my coffee while I watch. I dont want to spit it out over my keyboard.


Oh.My.God! There`s a man who`s eaten too many blue smarties!!!
 
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RedAl

Distinguished Member
Actually not sure it was E3 but a Microsoft developers conference instead. Still cringe worthy.

Steve Ballmer going crazy - YouTube

Yeah, that was the one I just watched. Wow. Just wow! What can you say to that except keep taking the meds! :rotfl:

On a serious note though, ignoring the fact he`s a prize plum, whats he like as a business man?
 

Cha1ky

Distinguished Member
Yeah, that was the one I just watched. Wow. Just wow! What can you say to that except keep taking the meds! :rotfl:

On a serious note though, ignoring the fact he`s a prize plum, whats he like as a business man?

He must be good to be where he is unless they just employ crazed fanboys!!!
 

paul1979

Distinguished Member
Come on, come on, comooooooooon! Ye give it up for me!!!!!

***... You can hear the team back stage "don would have been better than this" where goosed now! :p
 

barneystuta

Well-known Member
His persona is interesting, but what he is like at his core I am sure is different and professional.

He doesn't get to where he is today acting like a buffoon all the time.
 

zt1903

Distinguished Member
Bye Don. :hiya:

Let's hope this doesn't become a case of Be careful what you wish for.

I'm glad Mattrick's gone, but Ballmer heading up the XBOX Division...? :eek:

Exactly this. I can understand the knee jerk reaction of people rejoicing the departure of Mattrick but losing leadership this late in a project lifecycle can be extremely difficult to manage and can cause project delays and failures.

IF he has been fired they might have been better doing it quietly once the XB1 was on the shelves. He may not have been fired though, the Zynga vacancy only came up last week with Founder and CEO Pincus stepping down (due to poor stock market performance) and it would still be a step-up for Mattrick - CEO of a listed company rather than a divisional leader in a bigger listed company.

However, I am not particularly inspired by this news for a couple of reasons.

Whilst Ballmer has been CEO since 2000 he didn't really take over until Gates stepped down fully in 2006. Under his direction MS performance has been uninspiring.

Wikipedia said:
However, Ballmer has attracted criticism for Microsoft's share price which has been stagnant during his tenure, as well as failing to capitalize on several new consumer technologies. In May 2012, hedge fund manager David Einhorn called on Ballmer to step down as CEO of Microsoft. "His continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft's stock," Einhorn said in reference to Ballmer. In a May 2012 column in Forbes magazine, Adam Hartung described Ballmer as "the worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company", saying he had "steered Microsoft out of some of the fastest growing and most lucrative tech markets (mobile music, handsets and tablets)".

Further, it is not really that likely that Ballmer will take a significant day to day role in the XBox division - he is the CEO of an extremely large corporation and Xbox will not be his biggest priority. The corporate reality will be that the division has no real leader but Ballmer picks up the direct reports, unless there is a de-facto leader internally this could easily go pear-shaped.
 

monksy74

Well-known Member
I'm sure Ballmer will get the focus of the xbox one right.

Here's an extract from the email he sent about Don's departure I read on Edge:

"I’m particularly excited about how Xbox pushes forward our devices and services transformation by bringing together the best of Microsoft. The consoles are incredible all-in-one devices with built-in services that consumers love, including Bing, Xbox Live, Internet Explorer, SkyDrive and Skype. And, just as important, Xbox Games, Xbox Video, Xbox Music and SmartGlass light up Windows PCs, tablets and phones."

Oh, maybe he won't!
 

majnu

Member
I'm sure Ballmer will get the focus of the xbox one right.

Here's an extract from the email he sent about Don's departure I read on Edge:

"I'm particularly excited about how Xbox pushes forward our devices and services transformation by bringing together the best of Microsoft. The consoles are incredible all-in-one devices with built-in services that consumers love, including Bing, Xbox Live, Internet Explorer, SkyDrive and Skype. And, just as important, Xbox Games, Xbox Video, Xbox Music and SmartGlass light up Windows PCs, tablets and phones."

Oh, maybe he won't!

Nothing wrong with that extract. The focus of the X1 should be about integration and gaming. All services whether drm, multimedia etc are as he said "built-in services".
 

Det

Distinguished Member
I think he's getting to the point of it being almost an afterthought because it was nearly the last thing he said but lumped in with other stuff such as video/music/smartglass/etc.
 
Microsoft has released most of its best products under Ballmer so I don't see why it would be a bad thing for him to head up the Xbox division until the re org.

Unless people are just jumping on the hip Ballmer hate train.

What products are you referring to?
 

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