Zynga shakes up leadership, demotes COO


In the wake of mobile gaming giant Zynga's less than stellar second quarter earnings, the company is shaking up its leadership, most notably by demoting its chief operating officer and combining its mobile and Web divisions.

"Our players expect their favorite games on every platform, and we want to unlock everyone in the company to continue moving quickly against the multi-platform opportunity," said a Zynga spokesperson.

Zynga's COO, John Schappert, will no longer head the company's game development. Instead, Chief Mobile Officer David Ko and Executive Vice President of Games Steve Chiang will split these duties while reporting directly to CEO Mark Pincus, the company said in a statement. Zynga has not yet disclosed what Schappert's new role, if any, at the company might be.

This move is part of Zynga's larger strategy to strengthen its focus on its mobile division. Last week during the company's earnings call Schappert reported that Zynga makes 92 percent of its revenue from its Facebook games. The executive shuffle allows the company to refocus on the growing mobile gaming industry.

John Schappert zynga

John Schappert

"In order to unify our company around a multi-platform approach, we reorganized our teams in July to integrate web and mobile groups," said Zynga in a release.

Schappert joined Zynga in 2011--where he was offered a $42.8 million pay package according to Bloomberg Businessweek--after deflecting from rival Electronic Arts, where he spent most of his career apart from a brief stint working for Microsoft's Xbox Live unit. 

Last week, Zynga reported a $22.8 million loss from the year-ago quarter. Its year-over-year revenue growth had decreased to 19 percent, a sharp decline from the 32 percent growth in the first quarter. Zynga's poor growth, in turn, caused the company's stock price to fall 71 percent from its initial public offering price in December of $10. People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg Businessweek that Schappert took some of the blame for the company's poor performance in the past quarter.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg Businessweek article
- see this Reuters story

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