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Zynga replaces departed executives through promotions

November 13, 2012|By Ben Fritz
  • Zynga CEO Mark Pincus has promoted a new team of senior executives.
Zynga CEO Mark Pincus has promoted a new team of senior executives. (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press )

Troubled social games giant Zynga lost one more senior executive on Tuesday and promoted four to replace its depleted ranks.

David Wehner, chief financial officer of the San Francisco company behind "Farmville" and "Words With Friends," is leaving to take a senior finance job at Facebook, Zynga announced Tuesday.

The move comes three months after Zynga's chief operating officer, John Schappert, exited and two months after the departure of chief marketing and revenue officer Jeff Karp.

In a sign that the company believes it still has capable talent within, a quartet of executives were promoted Tuesday to form a new core senior team working with Chief Executive Mark Pincus.

Mark Vranesh, formerly chief accounting officer, is replacing Wehner as CFO.

Vranesh was previously Zynga's CFO from 2008 until 2010, when Wehner took over.

David Ko, who had overseen mobile games, was named COO. Barry Cottle, who was executive vice president of corporate and business development, is now chief revenue officer.

Steven Chiang, formerly executive vice president of games, now has the elevated title of president of games, overseeing all development and production.

Zynga last month laid off about 150 workers, shut down 13 games, and took a $95.5-million write-down on its ill-fated purchase of "Draw Something" maker OMGPOP as it struggled to adjust to a rapidly changing market, in which some of its games have fallen out of favor online.

Pincus has since sought to right the ship, refocusing the company on mobile platforms and more profitable casino games.

"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 in a statement. "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."

Shares in Zynga, which also reaffirmed its guidance for the current financial quarter, were up 1% in after-hours trading following Tuesday's announcement. So far this year, its stock is down 78% to $2.11, Tuesday's closing price.

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