John Schappert has left his role as chief operating officer at video game publishing giant EA for a senior executive position at Zynga, the Wall Street Journal reports. This is Schappert’s second move in as many years between video game companies.
Schappert joined EA in 2009 as COO after leaving Microsoft’s Xbox Live team where he served as a corporate vice president. Prior to that, Schappert was a longtime EA executive and founded its Tiburon studio, home of EA Sports Madden NFL franchise. In the Microsoft-to-EA move, Schappert replaced John Pleasants, who went on to Playdom and later became president of Disney Interactive.
Zynga appears to be bulking up its traditional video games pedigree with the new hire. Just last month, the FarmVille developer appointed longtime Tecmo Koei CEO Kenji Matsubara CEO of its Zynga Japan studio. There is speculation that the company could be staffing up executive positions ahead of an initial public offering sometime next year; Zynga has reportedly been finalizing a $500 million round of funding worth $10 billion to that purpose.
Zynga declined to comment on this story. EA did not respond to a request for comment before press time.