Exclusive: Zynga’s Engineering VP for New Gaming Platform Moves On

Neil Roseman, Zynga’s VP of Engineering, has resigned after 15 months at the social games company, AllThingsD.com has confirmed.

Most recently, Roseman (pictured on the right, with Zynga’s CEO Mark Pincus on the left) oversaw last month’s launch of Zynga’s social games platform.

The platform, code-named “Project Z,” enables games to be played directly on Zynga.com, rather than through Facebook, making it an important strategy for the company as it seeks independence from the social network.

In addition, Roseman also served as the manager of the San Francisco-based company’s office in Seattle, where he helped to recruit engineers.

When reached by phone, Roseman briefly confirmed that he had left the company about three weeks ago, after the launch of the platform.

Roseman said one of the main reasons he was leaving was because he spent three to four days a week in San Francisco, and was looking forward to spending more time with his family in Seattle. He has not decided what to do next, but said he is looking forward to something entrepreneurial.

Before joining Zynga, Roseman was CEO of Evri, a semantic Web start-up funded by Paul Allen; before that, he was one of Amazon’s first engineers.

Zynga declined to comment on Roseman’s departure, but confirmed that Jim Veevaert is now managing the Seattle office. Previously, Veevaert was president of Jerry Bruckheimer Games, a games studio founded by the famous Hollywood producer; he also worked at Microsoft for more than seven years.

In January, Zynga told me it employed 50 people in Seattle and was hiring.

Since the Seattle office’s open house in April 2011, it has grown significantly.

To help attract talent over the past year, it acquired Gasworks Games and CupidsPlay, two Seattle-area companies. CupidsPlay developed a game that merged social games and online dating, which I’ve written about. The two acquisitions are fairly minor, and were primarily for talent.

According to LinkedIn, Gasworks Games’ co-founders Toby Gladwell and Andrew Kaplan have been working at Zynga for the past several months. Likewise, the co-founders of CupidsPlay Diwakar Gupta and CJ Huang have updated their profiles to reflect that they’ve been working at Zynga’s Seattle office for the past year.

Most recently, the Seattle game studio helped to launch Slingo on Facebook.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik