According to a Bloomberg report, former Xbox chief and current Zynga CEO Don Mattrick has been an admirer of the social game maker for quite some time. In fact, in 2010 he tried to convince higher-ups at Microsoft that it should buy Zynga. This was prior to the company going public and during the company's popularity with games on Facebook, according to Bloomberg. Mattrick wanted Zynga to become part of the Microsoft family and helped open talks between Microsoft and the social games company, claims Bloomberg.
It was during these meetings that Mattrick and then Zynga CEO Mark Pincus became fast friends. Obviously negotiations to buy the company ultimately fell through and Zynga decided to try its hand at an IPO instead. While the sale to Microsoft was a wash-out, these meetings likely laid the ground work for Mattrick to eventually jump ship to Zynga.
The rest, as they say, is for the history books.
In his new role, Mattrick will earn an estimated $19 million during his first year at Zynga.