Zynga Inc CEO Admits Rivals Ate Its ‘Unattended’ Lunchbox

Zynga Inc CEO Admits Rivals Ate Its ‘Unattended’ Lunchbox

Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) CEO Don Mattrick acknowledged the fall of the company its and failures in identifying the most obvious opportunities and bumping off the road. He was speaking at the Q&A during the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Technology Conference.

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CEO admitted that the company is playing a catch up game, saying, “Imagine we went to the schoolyard, left our lunchbox unattended, someone was eating it. We’re just kind of picking up our lunch now.”

Zynga going through restructuring

Now, Mattrick is applying every trick up his sleeves to revive the company amidst massive competition. This year, in April, Mattrick rolled out Farmville 2 on Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA)’s mobile platform, months after rival Supercell proved with its titles like Hat Day and Clash of Clans that tablet-only social game can achieve mega success.  Farmville 2 is an attempt  at retaining and attracting new players along with Facebook audiences.

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Mattrick’s acceptance of failure in the company in front of analysts and investors is unusual. He added that restructuring is underway, and that he “candidly de-cluttered” Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA)’s management; ie, he’s taken out “a couple of layers of reporting structure.” Since Mattrick became the CEO of Zynga, a number of executives have exited the organization.

Focus on creating fans instead of audiences

On being asked how does he view customers, Mattrick said that the company is making all possible efforts to  reflect that today’s consumer is super sophisticated, and that the game maker is looking forward to building fans rather than just audiences. He added that users who love the experience would also love the value Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is offering. He mentioned titles like Words with Friends, Poker Business and FarmVille in his answer. Mattrick also said that Zynga is present in five different categories, and is fully executing on multi device model.

Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) CEO also added that in the past 10 months he has tried to interact with people in a very thoughtful and deliberate way. The first thing he asked the company’s employees was what they do and asked them to show him their tools. He asked employees to express their viewpoint on competitors and the market along with future growth plans. He also asked what they love about their company and working in the gaming industry. He also inquired regarding what is the personal legacy they would like to leave and how the company is competing.

Mattrick said that three things are typically discussed during company meetings: growing and sustaining proven live franchises, creating new products and driving efficiencies in the business.

A full transcript of the interview is available at Seeking Alpha.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com
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