Julie Shumaker leaves RockYou for Zynga

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By AJ Glasser

In another high profile poach, Zynga brings on RockYou SVP/General Manager Julie Shumaker as head of North American sales, reporting to chief marketing and revenue officer Jeff Karp.

Shumaker’s presence bolsters Zynga’s ad network aspirations. According to her LinkedIn profile, Shumaker primarily focused on building up media sales at RockYou for the past year. To hear RockYou CEO Lisa Marino tell it, those efforts seem to be successful — during RockYou’s dramatic pivot early last November, she claimed that the publisher would enjoy a profitable Q4 FY2011 thanks to the strength of its ad platform, which is incorporated into all RockYou games. At our Inside Social Apps conference earlier this year, Marino said 40 percent of its largest game’s revenue came from ad units.

As far as ad platforms go, it doesn’t get much bigger in social games than Zynga. Besides its Facebook and mobile games, the developer also has its Zynga.com games platform to offer as a target for advertisers seeking immersed audiences. Shumaker said in a statement included with Zynga’s press release that joining Zynga “is my leap into utilizing the best game network as an ad platform, one that has both unmatched scale and reach.”