Analyst says Zynga needs to ditch boss Don Mattrick

Ben Parfitt
Analyst says Zynga needs to ditch boss Don Mattrick

Don Mattrick needs to go – that's according to BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield.

Polygon reports that Greenfield has published a paper called "Zynga Needs A New Leader – Time for Don Mattrick To Go", criticising the exec for the company's purchase of Clumsy Ninja developer Natural Motion for $527m and its ongoing expansion into new genre types.

"Why not dramatically slash overhead, fire the vast majority of Zynga's employees and milk the substantial underlying profits Zynga generates?" he said. "Your core franchises have and continue to generate meaningful earnings, yet that is being completely offset by your attempts to find the next hit games in categories where Zynga has no underlying expertise."

In an interview with CNBC, Greenfield added: "I think what's really surprising about the company right now is that they appear to be making the same mistakes. Launching games too quickly, not doing enough consumer research on their games and pushing them out — the same mistakes that [former CEO] Mark Pincus was making when he was leading Zynga.

Despite not having any experience in mobile gaming, [Mattrick] had been in the gaming world, certainly at Xbox and has a long history in console gaming. He was supposed to be the one who fixed all this, and yet Zynga seems to be stumbling and making the same mistakes all over again."

Mattrick joined Zynga in July 2013. Having peaked at a share price of 14.69 back in March 2012, Zynga currently trades at 2.24. Last week it reported a $226m net loss for FY 2014.

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