With New CFO, Playdom Looking Even More Likely to Go All the Way to IPO

ChristaQuarlesSocial gaming company Playdom has hired an internet analyst, Christa Quarles, to be its new chief financial officer, according to a report in Business Insider earlier this week. The company has so far not commented on the report, although sources close to it have told us that it has hired a new CFO — and we assume that the person is Quarles.

She spent a decade at Thomas Weisel Partners, most recently serving as its internet services managing director, as Gamasutra notes (her TWP profile page appears to have since been taken offline). While she does not have direct experience running the financial operations of a public company, her job has made her knowledgeable about the markets and familiar with the process of going public; Forbes ranked her as a top brokerage analyst last year, for example.

This hire seems to confirm the IPO plans that Playdom’s leadership have alluded to in the past. The company raised a large first round of $43 million earlier this fall. After the funding deal closed, investor Tim Chang of Norwest Venture Partners said:

Our view of social gaming is it’s a pretty big space. It should be a market large enough to support multiple winners. The first was Playfish. Each of the big three should be able to get a pretty good outcome. The (remaining) big two could reach an IPO. One dynamic we like is that there are not that many companies reaching this kind of scale.

And then, after Playdom purchased a social gaming and an iPhone startup, we asked chairman Rick Thompson for his thoughts on the Playfish sale, and his own company’s future. “I think they’re a great company, and it was a personal decision,” he told us. “But would I have sold? No, our choice is to take it all the way.”