Microsoft's head of Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick has left the company to take the role of CEO at Zynga.

He will also sit on Zynga’s board of directors.

Mattrick was the face of Microsoft’s Xbox One campaign, which has thus far been characterised by confused communication culminating in one of the largest back-pedals yet seen in the gaming industry.

It is unclear whether he left voluntarily or was given his marching orders.

Zynga co-founder and CEO Mark Pincus said he was excited to make way for Mattrick.

“I’ve always said to Bing 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,” he said.

“I’m confident that Don is that leader.

“He’s one of the top executives in the overall entertainment business and he’s a great coach who has inspired people to do their best work and build strong, productive teams.”

Pincus will continue in his roles of company chairman and chief product officer.

“I’m excited to partner with Don and the rest of our team to return Zynga to its leadership role in inventing and growing Play as a core human experience,” he said.

In an email to all employees, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer thanked Mattrick for his service.

“This is a great opportunity for Don, and I wish him success,” he said.

“Since joining IEB more than six years ago, Don and his team have accomplished much.

“Xbox Live members grew from 6 million to 48 million. Xbox 360 became the No. 1 selling console in North America the past two years. We introduced Kinect and have sold more than 24 million sensors.

“We released fantastic games, and, most importantly, we expanded Xbox to go beyond great gaming to deliver all the entertainment people want – sports, music, movies, live television and much more.

“Thank you, Don, for setting us on a path to completely redefine the entertainment industry. The strong leadership team at IEB and their teams are well positioned to deliver the next-generation entertainment console, as well as transformative entertainment experiences, long into the future.”

Mattrick’s new role at Zynga commences on July 8. It is not yet known who will replace him at Microsoft.

Mattrick leaves Microsoft for Zynga
Pincus and Mattrick.