In a High-Level Restructuring, Zynga Promotes David Ko and CFO Exits for Facebook
Zynga has unveiled a new management team today after losing a number of high-level executives over the past few months as its stock price has plummeted.
The restructuring includes appointing David Ko, the former chief mobile officer, to the position of chief operations officer; Barry Cottle takes over as chief revenue officer; Steven Chiang becomes president of Games; and Mark Vranesh is the new CFO and chief accounting officer.
As part of the shake-up, Dave Wehner, who was CFO, has resigned; he’s joining Facebook as VP of corporate finance and business planning. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the appointment and said he will be reporting to Facebook’s CFO David Ebersman.
Ko will be replacing John Schappert, who left the company in August after Zynga reported poor second-quarter results. The company also lost Jeff Karp, the company’s chief marketing and revenue officer, who Cottle will obviously be replacing. Most of the other departures, which have been numerous, have been on the games front, including several general managers.
In a release, Zynga CEO and founder Marc Pincus said, “Dave [Wehner] remains a good friend to us all and we wish him success in his next role. Mark, David, Barry and Steve are rooted in our culture, committed to our future and part of the talented bench of leadership at Zynga. I’m confident we have the right team to deliver on our mission of connecting the world through games and position us for long-term growth.”
Vranesh previously served as the CFO of Zynga from May 2008 until August 2010. Since August 2010, he has served as the company’s chief accounting officer.
By looking internally for replacements for the several departures, it demonstrates the deep talent pool that is still working at the social games giant. The promotions, including Ko’s move to COO, marks the importance in emphasizing mobile gaming over Facebook games as the platforms change in popularity.
Zynga’s stock is up just a couple of pennies in after hours following the news; shares are trading just four cents above the company’s all-time low of $2.13 a share.
Here’s the note that Pincus sent to the troops today:
Today we’re announcing some important changes to the responsibilities of our senior team.
David Ko has been named chief operations officer. In his new role, he will oversee strategy planning, international, infrastructure and operations of the company. Since joining us in 2010, we’ve all seen Dave scale our mobile organization, grow our portfolio by 25 new games and help unite game development teams on our cross platform efforts.
Barry Cottle has been named our chief revenue officer and will be responsible for corporate and business development, distribution, strategic partnerships, advertising sales and operations, publishing and real money gaming. Barry is a seasoned leader having built and scaled businesses for Palm, The Walt Disney Company and Electronic Arts.
Steve Chiang has been named our president of games where he will oversee all games and new IP development across web and mobile and unite all of our game teams under one leader. We’ve all seen Steve guide the game development of Bubble Safari, ChefVille and FarmVille2 among others. He has more than 20 years of experience in the game industry building AAA titles and teams.
I also wanted to let you know that our CFO, Dave Wehner is leaving to accept a senior position with Facebook.
Dave provided great leadership to our financial team over the past two years, helping guide the company’s transition from startup through IPO. Dave has been a great partner for me, the senior team and the whole company. He remains a good friend to us all and we wish him success in his next endeavor.
Mark Vranesh has been named our chief financial officer. This is a role he knows well – he was our CFO during our rapid growth as a private company. As CFO, Mark built and ran our finance, accounting and controls functions and transitioned to the role of chief accounting officer in 2010.
These changes come at an important time. We are positioning ourselves for long-term growth and I’m confident that we have the breadth and depth of management talent to deliver on our mission of connecting the world through games. We are also today reaffirming our 2012 financial outlook that we communicated on October 24, 2012.
With some of our recent game success and the great work that’s being done to move with our players to mobile, we’re making progress. We still have a lot of work to do, but it’s been great to see so many of you step forward to put us on the move again.
Please join me in congratulating David, Barry, Steve and Mark on their new roles.