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Zynga Exec Resigns to Launch Start-up

Mike Verdu, Chief Creative Officer at Zynga, leaves the social game giant as its stock price falls.
Zynga headquarters in San Francisco
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Mike Verdu bid farewell to Zynga on Tuesday after a three-year stint as Chief Creative Officer. Reuters reported that Verdu will start his own mobile game company, which will actually be backed by Zynga.

“Being at Zynga in the early days reminded me of how much I love being an entrepreneur. After a lot of soul-searching, I have decided to go back to my roots and start a new company,” he explained in a post the company’s blog

At Zynga, a social game provider, Verdu directed several of its development studios. Verdu didn't offer much detail about his new venture in the post. 

His exit comes at a time of turmoil for Zynga. Verdu's exit is just the latest in a handful of departures. According to reports, Chief Operating Officer John Schappert, vice president in Zynga’s mobile division Ya-Bing Chu and general managers Alan Patmore, Erik Bethke and Jeremy Strauser all resigned earlier in August.

Zynga recently released its second-quarter earnings report, which revealed its stock price plummeted nearly 70% from December. In addition, a New-York law firm recently filed a class-action lawsuit, accusing Zynga executives and early investors of insider trading. 

"Zynga is being punished in the public market," venture capitalist Jeff Clavier told Inc. earlier this month. "There was a perception that there would be a constant supply of new gamers and potential gaming hours and that you could monetize all those platforms. It's just not the case."

Founded in 2007 by Mark Pinkus, Zynga draws in more than 240 million users per month. Users access the games, including the popular FarmVille and Word With Friends, on iOS and Android apps, Google+, Facebook and other platforms.

IMAGE: GMWDesign/Flickr
Last updated: Aug 29, 2012




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