New Hires in Social Gaming: Cie Games, Kabam, Loot Drop, & More

It would seem like the flood of new hires has finally begun to slow — at least in terms of company activity — as the number of social developers bringing on new team members has dropped from last week’s 12. That said, Kabam and Zynga host an above average number of hires themselves, according to data from LinkedIn and other sources, with the former showing one major hire.

Though he has been in the role since March, a recent update on LinkedIn has highlighted Bryan Vaniman as the company’s new director of corporate development. He was previously a partner at Active Private Equity.

As always, if your company is hiring new people or making a notable promotion, please let us know. Email editor (at) insidesocialgames (dot) com, and we’ll get it into this or next week’s post. Also, please note that the information about most new hires, below, comes directly from company updates from LinkedIn, and is only as current as people’s profiles.

Looking for new opportunities? The Inside Network Job Board presents a survey of current openings at leading companies in the industry.

Here’s this week’s full list:

Cie Games

  • Robert Tsao, Game Designer — Joining Cie Games this week, Tsao was most recently a game designer for Possibility Space.
  • Dinko Tontchev, Front End Wed Developer — Also now a part of Cie Games, Tontcheve was previously a front and back end web developer for


  • Mike Sellers, Executive Producer — Marking the first in a long list of new hires at Kabam, Sellers was previously a senior game designer at Electronic Arts.
  • Justin Lambros, Executive Producer — Now at Kabam, Lambros was a senior producer at Electronic Arts.
  • Keith Kawahata, Senior Producer — Kawahata was most recently a sales manager at Aeria Games & Entertainment.
  • Jeff Adams, Art Lead — Adams was formerly a lead concept artist at Visceral Games.
  • Dmitri Ellingson, Art Director — Joining Kabam, Ellingson was formerly an art director at LucasArts.
  • Mike Wallis, General Manager — Also joining the team, Wallis was previously a studio executive producer at Buzz Monkey Software.
  • Marco Perez, Senior Artist — Perez was a concept sketch artist at Ocular Sedition.
  • Todd Legate, Player Experience Associate — Legate was most recently a closing manager at Home Goods.
  • Randie Lin, Player Experience Associate — Now at Kabam, Lin was previously a sales associate at Aaron Brothers.

Loot Drop

  • Rex Cartagena, Software Engineer — A part of the Loot Drop team now, Cartagena was a Flash developer and technical artist at Zynga.
  • Michael Romero, Software Engineer — Also joining this week, Romero was formerly a UI engineer at Amazing Society.


  • Serena Cheng, Marketing Intern — A single hire for Mindjolt: Cheng was previously a professional relations intern at Project Ethos.


  • Aleksandar Markovic, Software Development Engineer — Joining Nordeus this week, Markovic’s prior role is unknown.
  • Mirjana Jovicic, Software Development Engineer — Also joining Nordeus is Jovicic, whose previous role is also unknown.


  • Benzamin Basher, iPhone Engineer — Now at Playdom, Basher was formerly a senior software engineer and iPhone team leader at Prolog Inc.


  • Dan Aquino, Community Advocate — Joining RockYou, Aquino was previously a contracted promotions specialist for Zoom Media.
  • Jacqueline Reiter, User Acquisition Analyst — Reiter was previously a marketing associate at ROXRO PHARMA, Inc.


  • Reed Shaffner, Senior Product Manager — Starting off a large list of new Zynga hires, Shaffner was most recently a senior product manager for Bing at Microsoft.
  • Alwin Mathew, Site Reliability Engineer — Now at Zynga, Mathew was a student at the Cochin University of Science and Technology.
  • Deanna Magnuson, HR Coordinator — Also joining the team, Magnuson was previously a server at Its Italia.
  • David Wee, Developer — Wee was previously a developer at AppDirect.
  • Aaron Arboleda, Engineering Manager — Arboleda was formerly a software engineer II at Electronic Arts.
  • Bryan Vaniman, Director of Corporate Development — As noted prior, Bryan Vaniman joins Zynga. He was previously a partner at Active Private Equity. That said, he has been in this role since March, and this is merely an update made this past week.
  • Bryan Larson, Research Recruiter — Another addition comes to Zynga. Larson was previously a university relations manager at Electronic Arts.
  • Jose Ciceraro, UI Designer — Ciceraro was a UI artist for Sony Online Entertainment.
  • Austin Walterman, Associate Producer — Walterman was formerly a computer programmer and project planner at CNN.
  • Sreenath Somarajapuram, Software Engineer — Joining Zynga this week, Somarajapuram’s prior experience is unknown.