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Zynga lures Microsoft's gaming chief with bulging package

Ex-Xboxer gets $50m payout to take CEO spot at game firm

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Shiny new Zynga chief Don Mattrick will get a hefty package when he joins the firm next week, with around $50m hitting his bank account in the next few years.

The firm said in a regulatory filing that Mattrick, who's leaving his job as head of Microsoft's Xbox business to join the mobile gaming biz, will get a base salary of $1m in his first year, along with a signing bonus of $5m and a 2013 bonus of $2m.

Because he lost a load of shares by leaving Redmond, the new chief will also get around nine million restricted stock units that he can cash in over the next three years - currently worth around $30m.

Over 45 per cent of those shares will vest in his first year, boosting his total take-home pay to around $19m if the share price sticks around same level as on 26 June.

Stocks have been rising all week on the hopes that Mattrick will be able to turn things around at the firm most famous for the Farmville games. The share price is currently 18 per cent higher than it was at the start of the week, at $3.42.

Mattrick is also getting an inducement grant of over 1.7 million restricted stock units with a target value of $5m and an option to buy 7.4 million more shares with a target value of $10m that will vest at the end of his third, fourth and fifth terms of employment. On top of all that, if the company is pleased with him, he'll get new stock with a target value of $7m in 2014 and may get the same bonus again in the following years. ®

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