New Hires in Social Gaming: CrowdStar, Digital Chocolate, Playdom, & More

After two weeks of relatively heavy hiring, the stream of new faces has finally begun to slow down, even if only by a little bit. According to data from LinkedIn, seven developers hired new team members this week but we did see at least one executive hire from a different source. Joining Kabam this week is Derek Sidebottom who will becoming their new chief people officer.

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.


  • Brinton Williams, Producer — Joining CrowdStar this week,  Williams was previously a producer at Harmonix Music Systems.
  • Nicole Epps, Flash Developer — Also joining CrowdStar, Epps was a lead programmer and designer at Semiotic Technologies.
  • Chad Wilson, Game Designer — Wilson was previously a game designer (systems) at Cryptic Studios.
  • Sam Juarez, 3D Artist — Juarez was previously sales at Best Buy.

Digital Chocolate

  • Manuel Razola, Senior Server Engineer — Now a part of Digital Chocolate, Razola was previously a software architect at Capgemini.


  • Derek Sidebottom, Chief People Officer — As noted prior, Derek Sidebottom joins the folks over at Kabam. Prior to this, he was the vice president of human resources over at Electronic Arts.
  • Kevin Yang, Art Intern — Joining Kabam, Yang was previously a student at San Jose State University.


  • Stephen Justice, Quality Assurance Tester — Joining Playdom, Justice was a quality assurance tester at NetDevil.
  • Alex Kivelstadt, Associate Product Manager — In an internal change at Playdom, Kivelstadt changes roles from that of a  “game services agent.”
  • Russ Zaliznyak, Senior Acquisition Analyst — Zaliznyak was previously a business analyst at Intuit – Homestead Technologies.


  • Simon Hunter, Senior Artist — Joining Playfish this week, Hunter was most recently a freelance artist.
  • Paula Valença, Analytics Developer — Also joining Playfish, Valença was previously a tutor at Universidade do Minho.

PopCap Games

  • Joshua Carter, Quality Assurance Tester II — Joining PopCap Games, Carter was previously a cashier with Best Buy.


  • Yuvaraj Gautam Chakravarthy, QA Lead — Chakravarthy was previously a software QA engineer at AOL.
  • Reginald Harris, Senior Program Manager — Now at Zynga, Harris was a senior project manager for Android and Chrome at Google.
  • Michael Courage, Principal SDE — Also now a part of Zynga, Courage was most recently a senior SDE at Microsoft.
  • Stuart Capewell, Lead Software Engineer — Capewell was previously a senior software engineer at Electronic Arts.
  • Huyen Huynh, Senior QA Manager — Huynh was previously an information services consultant at the Judicial Council of California.
  • Kimberly Sambrook, Research Recruiter — In an internal shift at Zynga, Sambrook changes roles from university relations manager.
  • Brian Crombie, Site Support Lead — Crombie was a DMS deployment tech at Pfizer.
  • Timothy Dyer, Accounts Payable Specialist — Joining Zynga this week, Dyer was previously a financial specialist II at Gilead Sciences.
  • Wilfred Schmidt, Senior Software Engineer — Schmidt was most recently a software engineer for Microsoft.
  • Praful Kaul, Engineering Manager — Now at Zynga, Kaul was previously a file systems engineer at NetApp.