New Hires in Social Gaming: Digital Chocolate, Kabam, Meteor Games, & More

A week ago, the number of hires suggested that a holiday slowdown had begun. Nevertheless, this past week is showing a surprising level of activity in the social hiring world according to data from LinkedIn. Of those, some major new hires included Christine Lau, who is now the Director of Sales Operations at RockYou, and Joe MacDonagh, who joins PopCap as their new Director of Production. In addition to these two, Meteor Games also announced the appointment of Michael Walrath to their board of directors.

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.

And for those searching for new jobs, be sure to check out our Inside Network Job Board.

Here’s this week’s full list:

Digital Chocolate

  • Reko Ukko — An internal change for Digital Chocolate as Ukko shifts from lead game designer to design manager.
  • Nick Esquerra — Previously a software engineer for LiteracyPro Systems Inc., Esquerra is now filling the same role at Digital Chocolate.
  • Tomi Joki-Korpela — Another internal shift as Joki-Korpela moves from lead server engineer to server programming director at Digital Chocolate.


  • Michael Pierce — A former account strategist for Google, Pierce joins Kabam as an SEM analyst.
  • Karla Ortiz — Ortiz joins Kabam as a new 2D game and concept artist. Prior to this, Ortiz was a concept artist for Paragon Studios.
  • Lisa Dedrick — Now a benefits administrator for Kabam, Dedrick was previously a human resources manager (domestic) for OmniVision.

Meteor Games

  • Michael Walrath — As noted prior, Meteor Games has announced the appointment of Michael Walrath to its board of directors. Walrath is the co-founder of WGI Group and former CEO of Right Media.


  • Iara Senez — Joining Metrogames as an “analista Jr de recursos humanas,” or junior human resources analyst, is Senez whose prior role comes from IT Convergence, where she was an HR assistant.


  • James Cook — Cook joins Playfish as a server-side developer. Before this, he was a Java web services developer at weComm.


  • Erik Osaben — Previously the technical director and co-founder of PassionFruit Games, Osaben joins Playdom as a software engineer.
  • Jason Dickson — In an internal change, Dickson is now noted as a production manager for Playdom International. Previously, Dickson was a QA lead.


  • Andrew Federspiel — Now a monetization designer for social games at PopCap, Federspiel was previously a game designer for SilverTree Media.
  • Joe McDonagh — Another one for the noted major hires as Joe McDonagh joins PopCap as their new director of production. Prior to this, he was the creative director for LucasArts.


  • Christine Lau — Christine Lau is now the new director of sales operations for RockYou. Before this, she was a manager of pricing and yield management for YuMe.

TeePee Games

  • Lauren Omond — New updates from TeePee Games as they announce Omond as their new project manager. Omond’s prior experience stems from mobile media company, Player X.


  • Francesco Tosato — Only an internal changes from Wooga this week as international online marketing intern, Tosato, joins the team as a product manager.


  • Renee Lawson — Lawson joins Zynga as an associate general counsel. Prior to this, Lawson was a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.
  • Phil Wohr — Now a concept artist for Zynga, Wohr was previously filling the same role under the recently acquired Bonfire Studios.
  • Eric Topf — Previously an artist for EA subsidiary Maxis, Topf joins Zynga as a QA analyst.
  • Zach Shubert — Zynga gains a new senior software engineer in the form of Shubert. Shubert’s prior role was as VP of engineering at Amie Street.
  • Michio Nikaido — Formerly a senior software engineer for CA Technologies, Nikaido joins Zynga under the same job title.
  • Frances Zou — Zou is now a recruiter for Zynga. Before this, Zou was a staffing consultant for Hewlett-Packard.
  • Jin Huang — Huang joins Zynga, this week, as a new software engineer. His prior experience stems from RockYou, where he was a front end developer.
  • Gil Shafir — Now a data analyst for Zynga, Shafir was previously an associate for Revolution Ventures.
  • Alex Shoykhet — The former director of product management at Mobile Money Ventures, LLC, Shoykhet joins the Zynga team as a senior product manager.
  • Sterling Reames — Now officially an animator under the Zynga tag, Reams was previously an animator under the acquired Conduit Labs tag.