Zynga CFO Wehner bails to join Facebook, Ko promoted to COO


Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is once again reshuffling its executive team, the firm's latest move to resuscitate its beleaguered social gaming platform.

David Wehner

   David Wehner

Zynga announced Tuesday that Chief Financial Officer David Wehner has left his post to accept a senior finance post at Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). Chief Accounting Officer Mark Vranesh will assume the CFO post. In addition, Zynga is promoting Chief Mobile Officer David Ko to Chief Operations Officer, a position left vacant since John Schappert resigned in August. Ko, who joined Zynga in 2010 after leading Yahoo's mobile efforts, will oversee strategic planning, international, infrastructure and operations.

Zynga is also elevating Executive Vice President of Business and Corporate Development Barry Cottle to chief revenue officer, and Executive Vice President of Games Steven Chiang is now president of games.

Zynga stock has been in freefall since the company launched its IPO in late 2011, a decline blamed on challenges including algorithmic changes made by Facebook and diminishing mobile traffic for OMGPOP's Draw Something, which it acquired for about $180 million in March 2012. Last month Zynga reported third-quarter revenues of $317 million, a 5 percent sequential decline; the firm previously said it expects 2012 bookings to range between $1.09 billion to $1.1 billion, lower than previous expectations. Zynga is now shuttering its Boston studio, mulling the fate of its Japan and UK offices, reducing staffing levels in its Austin, Texas, division and sunsetting 13 games.

"These reductions, along with our ongoing efforts to implement more stringent budget and resource allocation around new games and partner projects, will improve our profitability and allow us to reinvest in great games and our Zynga network on Web and mobile," said Mark Pincus, co-founder and CEO.

Zynga's ongoing struggles have prompted a series of high-profile executive exits. In addition to Schappert, who left the firm days after he was stripped of his responsibilities as head of social gaming development, Chief Creative Officer Mike Verdu left to launch his own startup; Bill Leinwand, the CTO of infrastructure cited as a catalyst behind Zynga's shift away from Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) cloud services to its internal Z Cloud platform, took a similar role at enterprise IT firm ServiceNow; and Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer Jeff Karp resigned his post in September.

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