Ballmer running Xbox team as Mattrick departs for Zynga

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer will run the company's Interactive Entertainment Business now that Zynga has hired former Xbox chief Don Mattrick as its CEO.

In an e-mail to Microsoft employees, Ballmer said Mattrick's team will report directly to Ballmer and remain focused on getting the Xbox One ready for the holiday season this year.

Mattrick leaves Microsoft weeks after the company announced plans for its new Xbox One console--a device it hopes can bring together games, music and live TV. And the departure was announced days before Microsoft had planned to reveal a management restructuring, according to a report in Fast Company. That report also pegged Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer as Mattrick's long-term successor.

Mattrick was responsible for bringing streaming video applications from Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) and others to Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, the Fast Company article said. His departure leaves a gap in Microsoft's senior management.

"What Don understands that nobody else at the executive level at Microsoft does is how to paint a vision," Evan Hirsch, an industry consultant who has worked with Mattrick, told Fast Company.

For more:
- read Zynga's press release
- read Ballmer's e-mail to Microsoft employees
Fast Company had this story

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