New CEO puts stamp on Zynga by shaking up exec ranks

Zynga just underwent yet another executive shakeup, this time led by its new CEO, Don Mattrick.

The social gaming company announced late Tuesday that three top executives, each of whom had miraculoulsy survived past purges, are leaving the company in the latest shakeup. The departing execs are Chief Operating Officer David Ko, Chief Technology Officer Cadir Lee and Chief People Officer Colleen McCreary. Ko, who had been with the company for three years, had just been promoted to the COO position last November as part of an earlier reorganization.

Lee, meanwhile, is a longtime partner of Mark Pincus, Zynga’s founder and former CEO. He had served as Zynga’s CTO for nearly five years. Prior to that, he was CTO at, a company he co-founded with Pincus in 1997.

McCreary had been with Zynga for four years.

In a post on the company’s official blog, Mattrick said that each of the four executives is euphemistically leaving to “pursue other interests.” However, he added that the changes were made as part of an effort to take “layers out of the executive rank to get senior leaders closer to important product initiatives.”

The departures come little more than a month after Mattrick joined Zynga and could put to rest questions about how much leeway he will have. Despite stepping aside as CEO, Pincus retains considerable power at the company, serving as its chairman, chief product officer and member of a two-person executive with Mattrick. He also holds a controlling interest in Zynga’s shares.

In addition to the departures, Zynga named Nick Tornow as its new CTO and Meg Makalou as its head of human resources.

Zynga has seen the departure of a string of top executives over the last two years. Once the dominant player in social games, Zynga has seen its sales fall, its losses mount and its stock price plunge amid delayed launches and poor reception of new games and dwindling interest in older games.

Photo courtesy of Zynga.


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  • Carl Pietrantonio

    I think that Euphemistically and Pursue are the correct spellings. Where are the copy editors? (See Paragraph Five)

    • Thanks for the heads-up, Carl. I’ve corrected the spelling of both.

  • Molly Harper

    The “poor reception of new games and dwindling interest in older games” would not be nearly as severe if the games did not frequently crash or fail to load.

    All the new CEO needs to know about what is wrong at Zynga he could learn by reading the support forums, which consist of page after page of user postings begging for the games to be made playable again.

    He can get rid of every executive there and not have a viable company if the products continue to fail.