Three more top Zynga executives depart (update)

Three top level executives are making "abrupt departures" from social and mobile game maker Zynga, according to a report from All Things D. Leaving the company as part of a reportedly impending announcement are chief operations officer David Ko (pictured), chief technology officer Cadir Lee and chief people officer Colleen McCreary.

Ko was promoted by Zynga founder and former CEO Mark Pincus to chief operations officer in November 2012, filling a leadership role left vacant by the departure of former COO John Schappert. Ko was previously Zynga's chief mobile officer.

The announcement of the latest group of departures is expected to be made by recently appointed CEO Don Mattrick, who left Microsoft for the struggling Zynga in July.

Zynga's website no longer lists its executive leadership team, instead redirecting to an "About Zynga" page.

In July, after just a few weeks on the job, Mattrick outlined his 90-day plan to reverse Zynga's fortunes in an investor call.  He said he would  get "under the hood to evaluate" Zynga's business, conduct "top-to-bottom business reviews and [work] with our leaders to calibrate against the market opportunity and to go after it with a real sense of urgency."

During the same call, Ko called Zynga's recent quarterly performance "unacceptable" and said the game maker plans to be more bullish on mobile games. The company has seen declining revenue and big drops in its player base over the past year.

Update: Zynga CEO Don Mattrick confirmed the departures in a memo distributed internally and posted to the company's blog, saying the three outgoing execs are leaving to "pursue other interests." Mattrick also outlined a series of organizational changes resulting in a new executive team that he says will take "layers out of the executive rank to get senior leaders closer to important product initiatives."

His memo is copied below.


Team,

Over the past month, I have had a chance to interact with a cross section of our employees and have been able to get a general sense of the caliber of people working here, the passion for winning and desire to get Zynga back to a strong leadership. Zynga is an amazing company and has tremendous potential for future growth. Thank you for taking the time to share your stories and business, as well as your creative and technical insights with me. On a personal level, I feel privileged to be the CEO and am more aware than ever before that the time for us to decisively move forward is now.

In parallel to these meetings, I have been working with our leaders to review different parts of our business in order to develop a set of operating principles to help reset the company. We are now calibrating against the market opportunity and developing detailed plans to achieve topline growth and improve profitability in the future.

To support the above, we are announcing today a number of changes to our organization.

We are taking layers out of the executive rank to get senior leaders closer to important product initiatives. With that in mind, I have asked the leaders to sharpen their focus and properly densify talent to resource teams.

Our studios leaders include Steve Chiang EVP Games, Villes and International, Barry Cottle, EVP Games, Social Casino, Travis Boatman, SVP Games, With Friends and Network, Tim LeTourneau, SVP Games, FarmVille, Steve Parkis, SVP Games, Midcore, Mark Skaggs, SVP Games, and Jon Tien, SVP Games, Casual.

Tech, live ops and publishing includes Nick Tornow, CTO, VP, Dorion Carroll, CIO, VP, and Adam Sussman, SVP Game Publishing (which includes distribution, direct advertising sales and ops).

Our functional area leaders are Reggie Davis, General Counsel, EVP Legal, Corporate and Business Affairs (which includes Corporate and Business Development and Communications), Mark Vranesh, CFO, EVP, and Meg Makalou, VP Human Resources.

These leaders will report to me and form our new executive team with immediate effect.

As part of the change, Cadir Lee, Colleen McCreary, and David Ko will be leaving the company to pursue other interests. Each person has contributed to the growth of Zynga and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Cadir Lee for his dedication in the creation of a world class technical organization during his 5 year tenure, Colleen for her work with our recruitment and people process over the last 4 years and David Ko for the 3 years that he spent in leading various teams across the organization. We appreciate their contributions to Zynga's first chapter and wish them well in their future endeavors.

With the above in place, I believe that we will have the best chance to grow, build a world class executive team and culture, establish cadence and really become committed to important priorities and opportunities for our long term success.

I look forward to sharing more detail and answering your questions at tomorrow's All-Hands meeting.

Best,
Don

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