* John Schappert taking senior games role at Zynga - source
* Zynga gains exec with public company experience-analyst
* Move could help Zynga in IPO-analyst
* EA shares down 1.3 pct
(Adds share move, management background)
By Liana B. Baker and Yinka Adegoke
NEW YORK, April 26 Zynga, the social games
company, has poached the chief operating officer of Electronic
Arts Inc ERTS.O, sources familiar with the matter said on
The executive, John Schappert, will head up Zynga's game
division, one of the sources said.
Zynga, which has enjoyed explosive growth with games such
as FarmVille and CityVille, is gaining an executive with deep
experience in leading a publicly traded video game company,
which could help it gear up for an initial public offering,
A regulatory filing released on Tuesday showed Schappert
resigned from EA on Monday. He had worked at the video game
publisher for 22 months, and before that at Microsoft Corp
(MSFT.O) for two years.
Schappert will join Zynga's senior management team
alongside Chief Executive Mark Pincus, Executive Vice President
Owen Van Natta and Chief Financial Officer Dave Wehner.
Schappert, a video game veteran, previously held the No. 2
position at EA. Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said
he will be instrumental in helping Pincus develop a fast
growing company with a rising valuation.
Zynga has expanded rapidly through small acquisitions at
the rate of about one a month in the last year as it seeks to
dominate the casual gaming market.
In the last few months it has tapped senior executives from
major technology and Internet firms like Cisco Systems Inc
(CSCO.O) and Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) as it beefs up its executive
talent, possibly ahead of an IPO.
Zynga was reported to have raised about $500 million in its
last round of funding, valuing the company at up to $10
"If Zynga is serious about going public, they need someone
who knows how to do it. They just grabbed a guy to give them
what they were missing -- public management experience,"
At EA, Schappert helped spearhead the effort to boost the
company's digital business through games for mobile devices, as
well as social games on Facebook. EA has said it is on track to
generate $750 million in digital revenue this year.
EA shares fell 1.3 percent to $20.27 in midday trading on
(Reporting by Liana B. Baker and Yinka Adegoke, editing by
Gerald E. McCormick and John Wallace)