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Mark Pincus is out again as Zynga CEO

Mark Pincus is out again as Zynga CEO


EA veteran Frank Gibeau will serve as his replacement

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Less than a year after returning to lead the company he founded, Mark Pincus is once again out as CEO of Zynga. Today the social gaming company announced that Frank Gibeau, formerly of Electronic Arts and Zynga board member since last August, will be taking over as CEO. Pincus will remain with the company as executive chairman of the board. "I recruited Frank seven months ago to become an active board member to advise and coach our teams," Pincus said in a statement. "Frank has mentored product teams, led roadmap meetings, and delivered inspiring talks to our game making and PM communities. Frank has also been a big supporter of our move to smaller, more nimble teams."

Pincus returned to the company last year to replace former Microsoft veteran Don Mattrick as CEO, who struggled to return the game developer back to its former glory. While Zynga saw rapid success in the early days of Facebook gaming thanks to hits like FarmVille and CityVille, it hasn't managed to make the transition to mobile and other platforms. Aside from a few big titles like Words With Friends — which became a Zynga game after the company acquired developer Newtoy — the company hasn't made much of an impact in the mobile space, despite a number of high profile and costly acquisitions. Things are so bad the company is reportedly selling its massive San Francisco office, which it acquired in 2012 for $228 million.

In the company's most recent financial report, Zynga revealed that its player base has continued to shrink, dropping by 1 percent in 2015. "Due to the lack of significant new releases, we saw an overall decline in our audience," Pincus said in February. The developer is hoping to change that by releasing 10 new games in 2016, including much vaunted titles Dawn of Titans and CSR Racing 2 from studio NaturalMotion, which Zynga acquired in 2014 for more than $500 million. Additionally, Zynga is planning to launch four different mobile slots games, and a sequel to the mobile version of FarmVille.