×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ba-Zynga! FarmVille Game Maker Gives Xbox Boss Mattrick $50 Million Pay Package

Online game developer Zynga extended newly hired CEO Don Mattrick, previously head of Microsoft’s Xbox biz, a compensation package potentially worth more than $50 million in cash and stock over the next three years.

Zynga, best known for the FarmVille games on Facebook, has faced a steep decline in users and revenue. Last month, it laid off 520 employees, or 18% of its workforce, which it said would result in pretax savings of up to $80 million per year.

The social games company is counting on Mattrick to turn things around. Zynga disclosed details of Mattrick’s pay package in a filing Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SEE ALSO: Don Mattrick Leaves Microsoft’s Xbox for Zynga

Mattrick, 49, had run Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business Group — overseeing Xbox game consoles and related businesses — since October 2010. Before joining Microsoft in July 2007, he spent 15 years at game developer Electronic Arts, which acquired Mattrick’s Distinctive Software in 1991.

According to Zynga’s filing, Mattrick will receive an annual base salary of $1 million plus a guaranteed minimum bonus of $2 million in his first year of employment. In addition, the company is granting him a one-time signing bonus of $5 million as well as $11.3 million in vested Zynga stock to compensate Mattrick for the Microsoft shares he is losing.

In his second year at Zynga, Mattrick will receive $14 million in cash and stock if he hits performance targets, and $9 million in year three. He’s also eligible for additional performance-based stock grants worth $7 million.

The value of the stock grants are based on Zynga’s June 26 closing stock price of $2.80 per share. Following company’s announcement of Mattrick’s hire, stock price has increased more than 20% from last week to close at $3.42 Wednesday — making Mattrick’s comp package worth even more for the time being.

Mattrick, who officially starts at Zynga on July 8, also will join the executive committee of the board. His employment agreement has no specified term. Former Zynga CEO Mark Pincus will become chief product officer and will continue to serve as chairman.

Zynga also disclosed that Owen Van Natta, formerly exec VP of business, resigned from the board. Van Natta will receive acceleration of vesting of 375,000 unvested restricted shares under his previous award.

For Microsoft, Mattrick’s departure comes as it gears up to ship the next-generation Xbox One in November. Yusuf Mehdi, senior VP of Xbox marketing and strategy, is expected to play a larger role in running the game division.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Radio-Com

    Entercom's Radio.com Launches DVR-Style Controls for Live Radio Shows (EXCLUSIVE)

    Radio broadcaster Entercom Communications is hoping to expand listenership of its live programming by bringing TiVo-like functionality to its Radio.com platform. Launching this week, Radio.com Rewind lets listeners pause, rewind and fast-forward live radio. It’s accessible via the online player or in the Radio.com app. Eventually, the company said it will integrate the feature with [...]

  • Help Wanted: Amazon Studios International Execs

    Help Wanted: Amazon Studios International Execs Talk European Expansion

    If there’s a perfect example of Amazon Studios’ strategy with its local-language international TV content, Japan’s “Documental” would be it. The series revolves around 10 comedians who battle to make one another laugh in an elimination-style competition. James Farrell, Amazon Studios’ head of international originals, said it was a good example of an unconventional idea [...]

  • Discovery, ProSiebenSat.1 Streamer Joyn Will Launch

    Discovery and ProSiebenSat.1's Joint Streamer, Joyn, Will Get International Launch

    Joyn, the streaming service run jointly by Discovery and German media giant ProSiebenSat.1, will roll out internationally in addition to launching a premium tier domestically later this year. At Mipcom in Cannes, ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Max Conze was asked whether the service, which offers on-demand content and linear channel feeds, would launch beyond Germany. “We definitely [...]

  • The Outpost -- "One is the

    Electric Entertainment Launching OTT Channel Electric Now (EXCLUSIVE)

    U.S.-based producer and distributor Electric Entertainment is launching Electric Now, a linear OTT channel that will feature its top series and library content. The channel will have episodes of “The Outpost,” the fantasy-adventure series that has just had its third season greenlit by U.S. network The CW. The new season will head into production in [...]

  • AMC theater

    AMC Entertainment Introducing On-Demand Movie Service

    AMC Entertainment will introduce an online video store in the United States on Tuesday. Adam Aron, AMC’s president and chief executive, said that the AMC Theatres On Demand will offer about 2,000 films for sale or rent after their theatrical runs — much like Amazon or iTunes. Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, Sony and Paramount have [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Watch Signs Content Pact With France's M6, Unveils European Short-Form Slate

    Facebook Watch has inked a content pact with French channel M6 and unveiled a slate of short-form content from European digital publishers for the platform. The deal with M6 will see the French broadcaster place spinoff programming from some of its hit shows on Facebook Watch. M6 will run pre- and after-show clips, interviews, and [...]

  • Jay Frank

    Universal Music Group's Jay Frank Remembered: 'He Was One Step Ahead of Everybody'

    Even as a student at Scotch Plains High School in New Jersey, Universal Music Group executive and digital music veteran Jay Frank — who died Sunday at the age of 47 after a battle with cancer — was destined for a career in the music business. Most recently UMG’s senior vice president of global streaming, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content