* Zynga names new top executives
* CFO departs to Facebook
* Zynga shares up slightly
By Gerry Shih
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 13 Zynga Inc
announced on Tuesday sweeping changes across its upper ranks,
including the departure of chief financial officer, David
Wehner, as the troubled game publisher sought to revive its
business and quell months of management turmoil.
The dominant publisher of games on Facebook named David Ko,
41, a top executive overseeing mobile games, its new chief
operations officer. The position had been vacant since August
when John Schappert stepped down after the company missed
earnings expectations for two consecutive quarters and its stock
price fell precipitously.
Wehner, who has joined Facebook Inc as a vice
president of corporate finance and business planning, oversaw
Zynga's high-profile initial public offering last December,
which priced shares at $10 and valued the company at $8.9
billion. Since then, shares have tumbled almost 80 percent as
investors questioned the durability of Zynga's business as
gamers seemed to tire of aging hits like "CityVille."
Zynga shares edged up slightly in extended trade, rising by
2 cents to $2.13.
As part of the shakeup, Mark Vranesh, 45, Zynga's top
accounting executive, will replace Wehner as CFO, while Steven
Chiang was named to oversee all game development, the company
In addition, Barry Cottle, a business and corporate
development executive, was named chief revenue officer.
The new appointments were approved by Zynga's board on Nov.
7, according to regulatory filings.
Zynga's new look at the top comes as CEO and founder Mark
Pincus fights to turn around his faltering company and
re-establish its once-golden status in Silicon Valley. The
appointments were made on a permanent basis, the company said
Tuesday, although the position vacated by marketing head Jeff
Karp, who departed abruptly in September, remains unfilled.
Pincus sought to instill a sense of stability in a memo to
employees released to the public on Tuesday.
"Mark, David, Barry and Steve are rooted in our culture,
committed to our future and part of the talented bench of
leadership at Zynga," Pincus said. "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."
Last month, the company sharply revised its full-year
outlook and began layoffs after warning that its revenues were
slowing as gamers left its once-popular titles published on the
Facebook platform in droves.
The company has since begun cost-cutting measures, including
layoffs, while Pincus vowed to personally supervise game
development, which had been plagued by delays in the past year.
Wehner, whose last day at Zynga was Tuesday, will report to
Facebook CFO David Ebersman at the Menlo Park-based social
networking company, which has close ties to Zynga because it
derives a significant percentage of its revenues from the game
Facebook said in a statement: "Dave's deep expertise in
finance, strategy and corporate development will be a great
addition to our team."