Microsoft Interactive Business President, Don Mattrick, is departing Microsoft. What first started as a rumor a few days ago gathered steam over the weekend, with the full story finally breaking. Mattrick will leave Microsoft and join Zynga as the new CEO and member of the board of directors on July 8th.
The loss of Mattrick this close to the release of the Xbox One is a surprise, to say the least. It also has to hurt Microsoft in a major way following the total disaster that was the launch and unveiling of the Xbox One. We would suspect that in an effort to try to stabilize things, Microsoft will likely name Phil Spencer to take over the IEB division; but a memo from Steve Ballmer regarding Mattrick’s departure suggests no replacement and that all of Mattrick’s reports will report to Ballmer for the timing being.
The biggest issues with the Xbox One and the success of the Xbox One this holiday season may have more to do with who is now at the helm more than ever before. We will have to see how Microsoft handles this, but Microsoft needs to show leadership and direction quickly. While we would hate to see Microsoft lose Phil Spencer on the software side of the business, it would seem that he is the logical one to move in and grab the reigns here. It is critical that Mattrick’s departure not be tagged as an indication that he believes that the Xbox One will fail.