Zynga CEO resigns, founder Mark Pincus steps in

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 Zynga Inc (ZNGA.O) said Chief Executive Don Mattrick resigned and founder Mark Pincus will return to lead the social gaming company as it tries to come up with new games to match the popularity “FarmVille”.

Shares of the company were down as much as 11 percent at $2.58 in extended trading.

Zynga’s share price has been below $5 for more than a year owing to a failure to games as popular as “FarmVille,” as well as the rise of mobile gaming rivals such as King Digital Entertainment Plc (KING.N), maker of “Candy Crush .”

Sterne, Agee & Leach analyst Arvind Bhatia said he was skeptical about the CEO change and it sent a “wrong message” as the company was beginning to move in the right direction under Mattrick.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]

Mattrick, who was the head of Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) critical Xbox , joined the social gaming company as CEO when Pincus stepped down in 2013.

Pincus stayed on as Zynga’s chairman and chief product officer at time and relinquished the last of his operational duties last year.

The company said Pincus has requested to take home an annual salary of $1 in his role as CEO.

Mattrick will receive a severance payment of $4 million, Zynga said in a filing.

Zynga said in February it would launch six to 10 new mobile titles this year after it reported bookings of $182.4 million. This was about $19 million less than expected, according to research firm StreetAccount.

(Reporting By Lehar Maan and Sai Sachin R in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)