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Zynga Founder Mark Pincus Dumps his Replacement to Become CEO Again

Pincus says he intends to get Zynga “in the game of mobile.”

Wired Business Conference in Partnership with MDC Partners

Zynga Inc. founder Mark Pincus decided to back running the mobile-games company, dumping his replacement Don Mattrick in under two years, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Pincus, who remained chairman but was doing other things while Mattrick was having a stagnant time at the helm, with Zynga’s shares stuck below $3. Now Pincus is the new CEO effective immediately, with a salary of $1.

In three years he could buy himself a share.

Pincus told the WSJ that Mattrick “was the right guy at the time.”

Zynga used to be a major player in Facebook games, back when Facebook a PC kind of place. As soon as users moved to computers that fit inside their shirt pocket, Zynga has been struggling to adapt to the brave, new world of mobile devices and apps.

Pincus says he intends to get Zynga “in the game of mobile.”

Mattrick managed a $527 million acquisition of UK studio NaturalMotion, creator of the hit “Clumsy Ninja.” He also weeded down the workforce to 2, 000 from around 4, 000. And he oversaw a redesign of Zynga’s mainstay games “FarmVille” and “Words With Friends, ” to fit mobile devices.

None of which helped the price of Zynga’s stock, because, analysts told the WSJ, investors didn’t trust Mattrick.

Pincus said Zynga is working on a new lineup of mobile games.

“I hope to bring some of the entrepreneurship and intensity that was helpful early on but also give leaders room to lead, ” he said.

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