As Zynga struggles continues, CEO steps down
NEW YORK — Zynga Inc.’s CEO, Mark Pincus, is stepping down to be replaced by Don Mattrick, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox business, as the troubled online game company looks to revive its business and stalled stock price.
The maker of “FarmVille” and other games said Monday that Pincus, who founded Zynga in 2007, will stay on as chairman and chief product officer. Mattrick, 49, has served as the president of Microsoft’s entertainment business, which includes the Xbox, since 2010. He’s been with Microsoft for six years.
Zynga’s stock is down sharply since the company’s 2011 initial public offering at $10 per share. Its games have waned in popularity and it announced in June that it was cutting 520 jobs, or about 18 percent of its workforce, to save money.
In June 2012, Zynga had about 215 employees in Austin; the company said at the time that Austin was its largest satellite branch in the U.S. But last October the company announced layoffs, including reportedly more than 100 in Austin. The company also this year said it would close its downtown Austin office, but kept open its North Austin location.
Stocks advance as stimulus concerns fade
NEW YORK — It appears investors have stopped worrying about the Federal Reserve. At least for now.
Stocks rose on Wall Street Monday as investors judged that the economy still isn’t growing fast enough for the central bank to cut back on its stimulus program. U.S. manufacturing grew modestly in June after a pickup in new orders and stronger production, according to a private survey.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 65.36 points, or 0.4 percent, to 14,974. The S&P 500 index rose 8.68 points, or 0.54 percent, to 1,614. The Nasdaq rose 31.24 points, or 0.9 percent, to 3,434.
Grant to aid outreach effort for dropouts
A new Austin-area effort to reach young residents who have dropped out of both school and the workforce will receive a $100,000 grant from the Aspen Institute to help plan and set up the initial infrastructure for the initiative.
The grant is one of 21 awards distributed nationwide by the institute’s Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund, which was created to support programs that reach youth from 16 to 24 years old and bring them back into school or work.
The local funding will go help set up the nascent Austin Opportunity Youth Collaborative, a program that brings together a consortium of local youth, education and workforce agencies and organizations.
According to estimates posted online by the Ready by 21 Coalition of Central Texas, Travis County is home to about 6,000 youth between 16 and 24 years old who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market.
“While currently disengaged, these youth are a valuable and capable component of our region’s human capital and their success is vital to the continued growth and success of our community as a whole,” said Alan Miller, executive director of Workforce Solutions Capital Area, which will administer the grant.
Barton Creek Resort & Spa adds ‘Omni’ to name
The new owner of Barton Creek Resort & Spa has now given the resort a new name. Dallas-based Omni Hotels & Resorts said Monday that it is rebranding the resort as the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa.
The Austin-area resort, at 8212 Barton Club Drive, has 312 rooms, four golf courses and a recently renovated spa. Omni officials previously said that beyond the new name, no other changes are planned for the resort in the immediate future.