Business

Zynga replacing its chief executive

Mark Pincus, who founded Zynga in 2007, will stay on as the company’s chief product officer.

Stephen Lam/Reuters/File 2011

Mark Pincus, who founded Zynga in 2007, will stay on as the company’s chief product officer.

NEW YORK — Zynga Inc.’s chief executive, Mark Pincus, is stepping down, replaced by Don Mattrick, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox business, as the troubled online game company looks to revive its business.

The maker of ‘‘FarmVille’’ and other games said Pincus, who founded Zynga and named it after his bulldog in 2007, will stay on as chairman and chief product officer.

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Mattrick, 49, has been president of Microsoft’s entertainment business, which includes Xbox, since 2010.

Zynga’s stock is down sharply since the company’s 2011 initial public offering at $10 per share. Its games have waned in popularity, and it said in June that it was cutting 520 jobs, or 18 percent of its workforce.

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Pincus praised Mattrick as ‘‘one of the top executives” in the entertainment business.

‘‘He turned Xbox into the world’s largest console-gaming network, growing its installed base from 10 [million] to 80 million and transformed that business from deep losses to substantial profits. And he has grown the Xbox Live player network from 6 [million] to 50 million active members in 41 countries,’’ Pincus said.

Before Microsoft, Mattrick was president of worldwide studios at Electronic Arts Inc. He joined EA after it bought Distinctive Software, the company he created at age 17.

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Zynga’s shares closed up 10.4 percent to $3.07.

Associated Press

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