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Struggling Zynga Names Microsoft Exec Mattrick as CEO (USA Today)
Shares of Zynga Monday closed up more than 10 percent on news that founder Mark Pincus would step down as CEO amid mounting Wall Street pressures to correct the company’s course. Zynga said that Don Mattrick, who led Microsoft’s Xbox business for the past three years, will take the top job at the struggling online games giant. Pincus will remain as chairman and chief product officer. CNET “As I reflect on the past six years, I realize that I’ve had the greatest impact working as an entrepreneur with product teams, developing games that could entertain and connect millions,” Pincus wrote to his employees. “I’ve always said to (Kleiner Perkins venture capitalist) Bing (Gordon) and our board that if I could find someone who could do a better job as our CEO I’d do all I could to recruit and bring that person in. I’m confident that Don is that leader.” Mashable Mattrick will take over on July 8. In his former role, Mattrick oversaw a team that grew Microsoft’s Xbox 360 global install base by nearly 700 percent to about 75 million consoles and grew Xbox Live membership from 6 million to nearly 50 million subscribers in 41 countries. The New York Times/Bits Blog The timing of Mattrick’s departure is particularly bad for Microsoft, which plans to release a new game console, the Xbox One, in time for the holiday shopping season. Mattrick has had a rocky few weeks since the unusual public outcry that followed the unveiling last month of many important details about Xbox One at the E3 game conference. Reuters Zynga’s business model, which relied heavily on selling virtual goods to gamers on Facebook’s platform, began to disintegrate a year ago as users tired of Facebook games and shifted to playing on mobile devices. The company’s shares have hovered at just 25 percent of its $10 initial offering price in December 2011 as Pincus has struggled to turn around the company named after his pet bulldog.
Facebook’s 2Q Earnings Report Set For July 24 (AllFacebook)
Facebook will announce its second-quarter financial results after the close of business Wednesday, July 24, and the company will host a conference call at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET that day, with the webcast available via the Facebook Investor Relations site. The official press release will also be made available the afternoon of July 24, along with financial tables and a slide presentation. Inside Facebook During the first-quarter report, Facebook announced $1.458 billion in revenue (which was an increase of $1.06 billion compared to the first quarter of 2012). Earnings per share were $0.12.
Former Police Chief Bill Bratton Launches Facebook for Cops (SocialTimes)
Bill Bratton, former commissioner of the Boston and New York Police departments, will launch a Facebook-like social network for police officers, according to a Reuters report Bratton tweeted. Dubbed BlueLine, the network is designed to allow “active law enforcement officers and professionals to find each other and share insights, observations and expertise.”
Skype for Android Takes Some Cues from Windows Phone in Latest Update (VentureBeat)
The latest update to Skype’s Android app is here, and it looks a lot like Windows Phone. Skype says the update “puts conversations first,” improves app stability and perhaps most importantly makes the Skype Android experience nearly identical to that of its Windows Phone counterpart.
Twitter For Blackberry Updated with Image Cards, Suggested Accounts (AllTwitter)
A Twitter 4.2 update for BlackBerry OS 5 and up brings image cards to Twitter users on those devices, letting them see photos in their timelines. Version 184.108.40.206 of Twitter for Blackberry also populates users’ Twitter timelines with more details about the tweets themselves – like who replied, the location from which the tweet was sent and if an article summary is available – and suggests people to follow when looking at Twitter profiles.
Pandora Says Musicians Will Get More if it Pays Less. How Does That Work? (AllThingsD)
I think Pandora could make a stronger case if it were clearer about exactly what it’s trying to do. I’ve asked founder Tim Westergren and CTO Tom Conrad to provide me with a real number that reflects the rate decrease they’re seeking, but neither of them wanted to engage on that.
Alec Baldwin’s Twitter Tirade, Facebook’s Starnes Block Highlight Social Media Perils (LostRemote)
While it is terrific that public figures now have a way to interact directly with fans, it is sometimes easy to forget that the world is watching. The damage to a brand, be it of an actor, TV show or network, can be harmed dramatically by one stray comment, or in the case of Alec Baldwin, a series of bad comments.
849 Million Reasons Why Bebo Was a Mistake for AOL (GigaOM)
Bebo co-founder and mega-millionaire Michael Birch Monday re-acquired the brand and the network for a million dollars. Like dance clubs, these faded (and forgotten) social network marquees are a rude reminder that social web is about people and people – especially young people are fickle.
Spotify is Expanding its New York Presence, Plans to Staff Up to 200 Engineers (BetaBeat)
Monday, Spotify made a big announcement: The company is expanding its local presence, with plans to hire an additional 130 engineers by the end of 2014. That’ll make New York home to the company’s largest office outside of Stockholm, with the bulk of the employees being engineers.