Barry Cottle, who oversees EA’s mobile and social games, has left the company to take a position at Zynga as executive vice president of business and corporate development.
It’s another key executive loss for EA, which has seen other high-ranking alums like John Schappert, leave for Zynga. We’ve seen several other ex-EA employees below the corporate level also migrate, suggesting that the corporate culture between the two rivals isn’t so different. Even though Cottle has served EA for more than four years, he barely spent six months in the role as EVP of EA Interactive – Social, Mobile and Online Gaming, which he took over when EA shuffled its executives in August 2011.
Zynga expressed excitement at the hire in statements provided in a press release. EA hasn’t responded to request for comment as of press time. At this point, it’s unclear who will fill Cottle’s shoes at EA.
Update: EA has updated its corporate roster with Playfish founder Kristian Segerstrale as EVP of Digital. In an Action letter to employees filed today, EA CEO John Riccitiello says that the company will now fold EA Interactive into all its divisions in a restructuring effort to be detailed at a Town Hall meeting on February 2. Frank Gibeau and Peter Moore retain their positions as president of EA Labels and COO, respectively, with Moore taking on leadership of a new Customer Experience Group. Rajat Taneja remains CTO with an emphasis on building up EA’s proprietary platform, Origin.
“This reflects our new reality,” Riccitiello’s statement reads, “everyone and everything is digital.”
Update 2: An EA spokesperson clarifies that the new structure of EAi is not hinged on Cottle’s departure and Segerstrale’s new role is significantly different than the one Cottle left behind. “In fact,” says the spokesperson, ” it further reflects the changing structure that as the parts of EAi integrate into other areas of EA, Segerstrale is focused on a wide-reaching new role that helps to define parts of our new digital business.”