Zynga’s ad leader Anekal departs for mobile advertising company Kiip

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By Kathleen De Vere Comment

Manny Anekal, Zynga’s Global Director of Brand Advertising, has left the company to help lead reward-based mobile advertising startup Kiip as its new chief operating officer.

During his two years at Zynga, Anekal lead the company’s in-game advertising and brand integration efforts in its main titles, and was behind some of Zynga’s biggest in-game promotions, like Lady Gaga’s “GagaVille” promotion for her album Born this Way, as well as recent deals with Farmers Insurance.

Like his peers Barry Cottle and John Schappert, Anekal came to Zynga from EA, where he worked as the company’s senior manager of in game advertising and its global director of ad operations before leaving to join the social gaming giant. According to Zynga’s fourth quarter earnings results, the company earned $27.3 million from advertising revenue, a 230 percent increase year-on-year. It is not yet known who will replace Anekal at Zynga.

Kiip made its debut last April and works with more than 65 mobile developers to incorporate advertising into a game’s existing achievement system. Founded by then 19-year-old Digg alumni Brian Wong, the company has so far received $4 million in funding from Hummer Windblad Venture Partners, Crosslink Capital and True Ventures. In December, the company unveiled its latest product, limited-time promotional tournaments called Swarm campaigns.

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