UVic selects Don Mattrick as distinguished entrepreneur of year

The man who helped bring Microsoft to Victoria, and who once led Electronic Arts and gaming company Zynga, has been named the 2017 Gustavson School of Business 2017 distinguished entrepreneur of the year.

Don Mattrick, who remains a B.C.-based investment leader, has been awarded the honour that recognizes a business leader who has achieved success through his or her acumen and entrepreneurial spirit.

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“We're so pleased to recognize Don as our 2017 recipient. We’re especially excited to honour a resident of our city,” said Peter Gustavson, chair of the selection committee. “Don is an icon in the technology and gaming space, and represents the drive and entrepreneurial spirit that is supported at the School of Business."

Mattrick has served on several public and private boards, including the advisory board for the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. He is co-chair of the Premier’s Technology Council.

Mattrick has a long history in the technology sector, including stints at the top of Electronic Arts and Zynga. As president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business, he championed the establishment of a Microsoft game design studio in downtown Victoria.

That studio closed in 2013, after two years of operation.

Mattrick was responsible for leading the team that grew Microsoft’s Xbox 360 adoption by 700 per cent to nearly 75 million consoles, and grew the Xbox Live membership from six million to nearly 50 million subscribers in 41 countries.

“There’s no doubt that Don has enjoyed a storied career thus far, and I can think of few Victorians with a more distinguished entrepreneurial record,” said Dan Gunn, chief executive of the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council.

Mattrick, who was raised in Vancouver, is married with two children. He will receive the award at the distinguished entrepreneur of the year gala on May 8.

aduffy@timescolonist.com

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