Zynga COO Schappert resigns following management shakeup

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Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) Chief Operating Officer John Schappert has resigned one week after the firm stripped him of his responsibilities as head of social gaming development.

John Schappert zynga

John Schappert

Zynga announced Schappert's exit in a regulatory filing Wednesday, stating his resignation did not arise from "any disagreement with the company on any matter relating to the company's operations, policies or practices." Schappert's decision to resign is hardly a surprise, however: Last week, Zynga appointed Chief Mobile Officer David Ko and Executive Vice President of Games Steve Chiang to lead game development efforts, concurrently combining its mobile and Web divisions.

The shakeup followed days after Zynga reported a $22.8 million second quarter loss, which executives blamed on recent algorithmic changes made by social network Facebook, as well as diminishing mobile traffic for high-profile acquisition Draw Something. Zynga shares nosedived roughly 40 percent in the wake of the earnings report.

Schappert joined Zynga in 2011 after spending the majority of his career at rival gaming publisher Electronic Arts, accepting a cash and stock package reportedly worth more than $42.7 million. "John has made significant contributions to the games industry throughout his career and we appreciate all that he has done for Zynga," the firm's founder and CEO Mark Pincus said. "John leaves as a friend of the company, and we wish him all the best."

Despite its troubles, Zynga's second quarter revenues reached $332.5 million, up 4 percent over the first quarter of 2012. "Our games reached record audiences, achieving over 300 million monthly active users," Pincus said. "We grew our mobile footprint five-fold in the year to 33 million daily active users making Zynga the largest mobile gaming network. We're optimistic about the long-term growth prospects on mobile where we have a window of opportunity to drive the same kind of social gaming revolution that we enabled on the Web."

For more:
- read this Reuters article

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