Today: Social-gaming pioneer Zynga shook up its leadership Monday, taking founder Mark Pincus out of the CEO role and replacing him with Don Mattrick. Also, Tesla hits a record high, Apple (AAPL) rebounds and Intuit (INTU) gains.

The Lead: Zynga replaces Pincus as CEO, brings in Microsoft veteran

Social-gaming pioneer Zynga shook up its leadership Monday, taking founder Mark Pincus out of the CEO role and replacing him with Don Mattrick, who moved from a senior role at Electronic Arts (ERTS) to lead Microsoft's Xbox to gaming domination. While Zynga staged a coup in landing such an accomplished gaming executive, Mattrick faces several obstacles to right the San Francisco company's ship.

After AllThingsD broke the news with a report early in the day, Zynga announced after the markets closed that Mattrick would be taking over the top role in the company, with Pincus remaining chairman of the board and chief product officer.

"I've always said ... that if I could find someone who could do a better job as our CEO, I'd do all I could to recruit and bring that person in. I'm confident that Don is that leader," Pincus said in a blog post that doubled as an email to employees on the change.

Mattrick rose to the role of president at Redwood City-based Electronic Arts -- which also has an open CEO seat that Mattrick discussed with the company, according to The New York Times -- before leaving for Microsoft, where he helped a then-struggling Xbox division rise to the top of the console gaming heap.

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus walks off the stage after an announcement of new games at Zynga headquarters in San Francisco, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. Pincus was
Zynga CEO Mark Pincus walks off the stage after an announcement of new games at Zynga headquarters in San Francisco, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. Pincus was replaced as CEO on Monday, July 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) (Paul Sakuma)

"Thank you, Don, for setting us on a path to completely redefine the entertainment industry," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in an email to employees about Mattrick's departure, in which he mentioned the strides Xbox made under Mattrick, including the forthcoming Xbox One.

Mattrick will need plenty more of that magic to boost Zynga, which has struggled mightily since its 2011 initial public offering and the end of its symbiotic relationship with top social-networking company Facebook. The company has executed two rounds of layoffs so far this year, closing satellite offices elsewhere in the United States and trimming the company by more than 20 percent, as its earnings and stock price have suffered.

With all of these negatives, analysts were betting that Zynga's sole hope for future gains would be from real-money gaming, which the company has begun offering overseas and is attempting to gain licenses for in states where the practice is being legalized. Mattrick's experience lies more in traditional griming, however, and a report Monday said that Zynga has already been surpassed in social-casino gaming by Caesar's, which has a big head start in the gambling world.

All those issues led analysts, while generally praising the hire by Zynga -- Mattrick "adds credibility to an executive team that has been significantly compromised," National Alliance Capital Markets analyst Michael Hickey told Bloomberg News -- to question if the alliance would work out long-term.

"Bringing in someone who has worked at a larger company to assist in management duties I think is a relief right now. But Pincus is still the chief product officer. So the question is, what's actually changed day to day in terms of making hit games?" BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield, pondered to Reuters.

"What's (Mattrick's) assurance that Pincus won't be meddling?" Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter asked USA Today.

In a short letter sent to Zynga employees Monday, Mattrick did little to answer those questions, but expressed optimism about the company's prospects, saying Zynga has "all the makings of a successful service and business."

"Zynga is a great business that has yet to realize its full potential," he summed up.

Investors certainly seemed happy with the move, sending Zynga shares zooming after the initial AllThingsD report landed, then giving an after-hours boost when the news was confirmed. Zynga closed with a 10.4 percent gain at $3.07, and was trading around $3.25 in late trading, both marks still far short of the $10 price commanded in the company's IPO.

SV150 market report: Record high for Tesla, Apple rebounds, Intuit gains after $1 billion sale

Wall Street moved higher Monday, and Silicon Valley tech stocks led the charge: While the broad-based Standard & Poor's 500 gained 0.5 percent and the Dow moved 0.4 percent higher, the tech-heavy Nasdaq improved by 0.9 percent and the SV150 moved 1.2 percent higher.

Tesla Motors (TSLA) recorded record intraday and closing highs amid optimism from analysts. Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdhry said in a note that a petition for federal action to back the Palo Alto company's sales practices is likely to hit 100,000 signatures by the deadline of July 5, boosting Tesla's chances of fighting back some states' efforts to block direct sales. Jefferies analyst Elaine Kwei also issued a note Monday morning that was positive on Tesla, as she nearly doubled her price target for the stock, from $70 to $130, explaining "Despite the massive run in the stock, we believe Tesla is one of the best growth stories in the market today and still has upside." Tesla moved as high as $117.77 before closing with a 9.2 percent increase at $117.18.

After struggling immensely last week, dropping below $400 for the first time since April and ending the week lower than that mark, Apple jumped back Monday. The Cupertino company gained 3.2 percent to $409.22 after Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt upgraded the stock from "Outperform" -- the equivalent of a "Buy" rating -- to a "Strong Buy," noting that "horrible" sentiment from institutional investors had pushed the shares down too low and new form factors on the way. "Apple's dominance of high income consumers and the vertically integrated model positions it well to capture the largest share of profits as mobile computing moves beyond smartphones and tablets," McCourt wrote. Apple also might have received a boost from news about an expected new form factor: The company reportedly filed for a trademark on the term "iWatch" in Japan, suggesting the tech giant is nearing the release of a smartwatch product.

Intuit increased 3.5 percent to $63.15 after the Mountain View company sold one of its business units that focuses on financial-services software for slightly more than $1 billion. Intuit is also looking to sell of a unit that makes software for managing health-care companies, as CEO Brad Smith said that it is looking to sharpen its focus on its core tax-preparation software.

Google (GOOG) gained 0.9 percent to $887.88 as it received good news in one of its legal battles, with a judge saying the Mountain View search giant can argue that its plan to digitize the world's books is "fair use" under copyright law. Netflix (NFLX) gained 6.3 percent to $224.28 after signing a deal for exclusive rights to the Fox comedy "New Girl"; Yahoo (YHOO) increased 0.4 percent after announcing an acqui-hire in the mobile fantasy-sports realm; and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) moved 0.5 percent higher to $24.93 amid more reports about its smartphone efforts. Not all of Silicon Valley's tech giants managed gained Monday, however: Oracle (ORCL) dropped 2 percent to $30.11 and Intel (INTC) declined 1.4 percent to $23.89.

Up: Zynga, Tesla, SolarCity, Netflix, Intuit, SunPower (SPWRA), Apple, Pandora, LinkedIn, eBay (EBAY), Adobe (ADBE), Juniper, Google, EA, Gilead, Cisco

Down: Yelp, Oracle, Intel, Salesforce, Applied Materials, VMware, Facebook

The SV150 index of Silicon Valley's largest tech companies: Up 14.17, or 1.16 percent, to 1,236.16

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index: Up 31.24, or 0.92 percent, to 3,434.49

The blue chip Dow Jones industrial average: Up 65.36, or 0.44 percent, to 14,974.96

And the widely watched Standard & Poor's 500 index: Up 8.68, or 0.54 percent, to 1,614.96

Check in weekday afternoons for the 60-Second Business Break, a summary of news from Mercury News staff writers, The Associated Press, Bloomberg News and other wire services. Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at Twitter.com/mercbizbreak.