Zynga Inc., the biggest maker of online social games, surged as much as 13 percent after AllThingsD reported that the company may replace Chief Executive Officer Mark Pincus.
Zynga may name Don Mattrick, entertainment head at Microsoft Corp., as CEO as early as today, AllThingsD said, citing people familiar with the matter. Shares of Zynga rose 9.4 percent to $3.04 at 1:39 p.m. in New York, and earlier touched $3.14 for the biggest gain since April 3.
Pincus, who founded Zynga in 2007, is struggling to restart growth as more users shift their attention away from games on desktop websites such as Facebook Inc.’s social network, Zynga’s core business, and toward titles played on smartphones and tablets. The CEO in April lowered his salary to $1 and opted not to receive a cash bonus or equity award this year as the company works to cut costs.
In October, Pincus said he was making “tough decisions” such as eliminating 5 percent of jobs, shutting offices and ending development on more than a dozen game titles.