Zynga Loses Its CTO of Mobile as Shares Trade Lower

Game Closure, which is building a platform to make it easy for games to be played across multiple devices, said it has hired Laurent Desegur, Zynga’s CTO of mobile.

Desegur will join the Mountain View, Calif., start-up as a VP of Mobile Engineering, in charge of the company’s game engine development. Before Zynga, Desegur was CTO at Big Fish Games, a major casual games company in Seattle.

The departure of the mid-level executive from Zynga coincides with the expiration of the social game company’s lock-up period today, which will allow more of its investors and employees to sell their shares on the open market.

The new shares forced Zynga’s shares down in afternoon trading, falling nearly 50 cents, or 7.2 percent, to trade at $6.14 a share, a new low.

The company’s stock price has plummeted by nearly 40 percent since the company’s IPO in December and has been hit hard by Facebook’s own IPO troubles. Zynga’s volume was also nearly twice as high as normal today with 36.5 million shares already trading hands.

Zynga’s CEO Mark Pincus will be onstage tomorrow morning at our D: All Things Digital conference, kicking off tonight in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., to address these issues and other.

In a release, Game Closure boldly claimed it was trying to take advantage of the lock-up period expiring to recruit employees from Zynga.

Founded in February 2011, the company has 30 employees today and recently received a $12 million investment from an impressive list of investors, including Highland Capital, Greylock Partners, Charles River Ventures, Benchmark Capital, General Catalyst Partners, SV Angel, Yuri Milner and Joi Ito. Game Closure participated in StartX, the Stanford student start-up accelerator.


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