Leaving the doghouse: The exodus of Zynga executives (so far)

There’s been a lot of high-profile departures from Zynga over the past few weeks. While we’ve covered most of these departures individually, we’re assembling them together into one comprehensive list, arranged chronological order.

The departure of so many company executives and officers has further dampened the public perception of the company. As a result, recent events like the unveiling of its new publishing partners have been somewhat overshadowed by the exodus. Likewise, investor confidence is apparently still down and the company’s stock is still sitting close to the $3 mark.

Zynga’s also had some profile hires and acquisitions lately, which haven’t received nearly as much coverage as the these exits. Recently, the company acquired core game studio A Bit Lucky and also hired Mortal Kombat co-creator John Tobias. That said, Zynga hasn’t made any public announcements about replacements for these positions documented below.

 John Schappert

Position at Zynga: Chief Operating Officer

Date of departure: Aug. 8, 2012

Current status: Unknown. Schappert’s been quiet since he left Zynga, and his LinkedIn profile doesn’t show any new activity since his departure. Zynga CEO Mark Pincus is said to have taken over Schappert’s duties, working with David Ko and Steve Chiang in a much more hands-on manner when it comes to game development.

Alan Patmore

Position at Zynga: Studio GM

Date of departure: Aug. 23, 2012

Current status: Patmore’s background in mainstream games (with high-profile companies like Double Fine and Surreal Software) made him an ideal candidate for core game studio Kixeye. He’s now Kixeye’s new VP of Product.

Mike Verdu

Position at Zynga: Chief Creative Officer

Date of departure: Aug. 28, 2012

Current status: Verdu’s departure with Zynga appears to have been pretty amicable, as he’s started up an unnamed company that Pincus has invested in. His LinkedIn profile shows he’s still working in the computer game industry, but not much else is known for now.

Brian Britwistle

Position at Zynga: VP of Marketing

Date of Departure: Aug. 30, 2012

Current status: Unknown. Nothing’s been mentioned since he left Zynga, and his LinkedIn profile hasn’t been updated with a new position.

 Bill Mooney

Position at Zynga: VP of Studios

Date of departure: Aug. 30, 2012

Current status: Unknown. As was the case with Britwistle, there’s been no public update on his career, and his LinkedIn profile still shows him as a VP at Zynga.


Allan Leinwand

Position at Zynga: CTO of Infrastructure

Date of departure: Sept. 10, 2012

Current status: Leinwand left Zynga to serve as VP and CTO of the cloud service company, ServiceNow. The move makes sense since he led a team to leverage Zynga’s own cloud infrastructure, something the company’s been touting the power of in recent months.

Jeff Karp

Position at Zynga: Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer

Date of departure: Sept. 22, 2012

Current status: Still at Zynga. Karp’s imminent departure was announced Sept. 10, but the issued SEC document revealed he would be sticking around through Sept. 22. Nothing’s been mentioned about where Karp’s headed next, though industry sources speculate he might follow Schappert wherever he goes. Schappert brought Karp over to Zynga from Electronic Arts and Karp has reportedly been “checked out” ever since Schappert left the company.

Nils Puhlmann

Position at Zynga: Chief Security Officer

Date of departure: Sept. 19, 2012 (rumored)

Current status: Unknown. TechCrunch broke the news of Puhlmann’s rumored departure this week, but no one’s confirmed this yet. When we reached out to Zynga, we were told the company wasn’t commenting on the matter. His bio is still up at Zynga’s engineering site, and his LinkedIn profile still shows him working at the company.