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Former Xbox boss Don Mattrick will take over as Zynga CEO this week.

Conversations between former Microsoft Xbox boss Don Mattrick and Zynga, his new employer, have been going on much longer than just the past few months.

A new Bloomberg report reveals that Mattrick, who will take over as CEO of Zynga this week, actually wanted Microsoft to acquire Zynga back in 2010. He hoped the deal would bring more social gaming to Xbox from the company that put out titles like FarmVille and Words With Friends to the market.

That plan, though, never came to fruition. Who knows what the Redmond software giant would have done with an acquisition like that, but here’s what we do know: Not gobbling up Zynga may have ended up for the better.

Mattrick will take the reigns of a game maker that has lost revenue, employees and popularity in recent months. But the 49-year-old believes Zynga has yet to “realize its full potential.”

zynga
Don Mattrick and former Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, who will still have a leadership role at the company.

“I’ve admired Zynga for years. You have redefined entertainment and brought gaming to the mainstream,” he wrote in a a message to his new employees last week. “Only Zynga combines engineering, industry-leading product management and analytics to deliver products that strike a chord with consumers and add real value in their lives.”

It is also interesting to note that Mattrick left Microsoft Xbox, which has dealt with its own share of problems recently, just months before the Xbox One hits shelves in November.

His new gig will be no easier with Zynga trying to focus more on mobile and less on Facebook. Some analysts say the continued influence of ex-CEO Mark Pincus combined with Mattrick’s lack of mobile experience are red flags.

Mattrick will start at Zynga with a $5 million signing bonus with a $1 million salary. His salary package is worth about $50 million in stock, options and salary.

Previously on GeekWire: Xbox chief’s exit may clear way for new Microsoft devices division 

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