Zynga elevates Tim LeTourneau to chief creative officer
Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is promoting Tim LeTourneau to chief creative officer. He replaces Mike Verdu, who left the embattled social gaming firm in August to launch his own startup.
LeTourneau previously served as Zynga's vice president in charge of FarmVille 2. All Things D reports he will step away from day-to-day supervision of the hit title to devote his energies to game design across the Zynga platform, with Maureen Fan taking over as FarmVille 2's new general manager.
LeTourneau will report to Steven Chiang, who was named Zynga's president of games earlier this month. Chiang was promoted at the same time Zynga appointed Chief Mobile Officer David Ko as chief operations officer, a position left vacant since John Schappert resigned in August. Ko, who joined Zynga in 2010 after leading Yahoo's mobile efforts, now oversees strategic planning, international, infrastructure and operations. Zynga also elevated Executive Vice President of Business and Corporate Development Barry Cottle to chief revenue officer.
More than half dozen senior executives including Schappert, CFO David Wehner, CTO of Infrastructure Bill Leinwand and Treasurer Mike Gupta have left Zynga in recent months. The company's stock has been in freefall since its late-2011 IPO, a decline blamed on challenges including algorithmic changes made by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and diminishing mobile traffic for OMGPOP's Draw Something, which Zynga acquired for about $180 million in March 2012.
Last month Zynga reported third-quarter revenues of $317 million, a 5 percent sequential decline; the firm previously said it expected 2012 bookings to range between $1.09 billion to $1.1 billion, lower than previous expectations. Zynga is now shuttering its Boston studio, mulling the fate of its Japan and UK offices, reducing staffing levels in its Austin, Texas, division and sunsetting 13 games. "These reductions, along with our ongoing efforts to implement more stringent budget and resource allocation around new games and partner projects, will improve our profitability and allow us to reinvest in great games and our Zynga network on Web and mobile," said Mark Pincus, co-founder and CEO.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Pincus reshuffled Zynga's executive ranks after speaking with advisers including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) board director Bill Campbell, who was brought in by Zynga investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Campbell said Pincus "was discouraged" and near tears when they met, adding he "felt terrible about what was happening. He felt the turmoil."
In an email to the Journal, Pincus said "rapid change in player habits and social technologies have dictated fundamental changes at Zynga. And when businesses change, it's inevitable that some people will choose to leave."
- read this All Things D article
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