New Hires In Social Gaming: Digital Chocolate, Zynga, Playdom, & More

The number of hires in the social gaming industry was slightly lower last week versus this week, according to LinkedIn data. Only four of the major social developers did any hiring, with only Zynga making significant additions in the numbers category — at least that are visible.

Of all the hires, Digital Chocolate hosted the biggest. It poached iWin Co-Founder, David Fox as a new Vice President. A new startup, Rocket Ninja, also announced a few notables.

As always, if your company is bringing on 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.

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

Here’s this week’s list:

Digital Chocolate

  • David Fox — Fox joins Digital Chocolate’s San Mateo headquarters team as a new Vice President. Prior to this, he was one of the Co-Founders of iWin.


  • Raed Shomali — In an internal change over at Playdom, Shomali changes roles from a Software Engineer to a Technical Lead.
  • Daniel Chay — Previously a Senior Flex/Flash Software Engineer for Hands-On Mobile, Chay joins the Playdom team as their newest Flash Software Engineer.
  • Jack Luh — Now an Engineering Manager at Playdom, Luh was formerly a Sr. Manager of Development at Symantec.


  • Vivienne Bearman — Bearman switches roles internally as she changes from a Game Producer under the Electronic Arts tag, to a Studio Producer under the Playfish tag.
  • Stian Hansen — Another internal switch at Playfish as Hanson upgrades from Producer to Senior Producer.

Rocket Ninja

  • Randy Fish — We caught wind of two hires for the startup Rocket Ninja. Randy Fish is first on the list with experience stemming from Rich Relevance, where he worked to provide recommendations and personalization to e-commerce sites such as,, and He joins Rocket Ninja as their Chief Technology Officer.
  • Neil Haldar — Also on our list is Neil Haldar who joins Rocket Ninja as an Executive Producer. Haldar comes with experience as VP of Content Programming & Strategy at SkyZone Entertainment as well as VP of Production & Development at MGM Interactive.


  • Poojitha Narasimhan — Narasimhan joins Zynga as a Senior Financial Analyst. Before this he was a Senior Analyst of Financial Planning & Analysis at Glu Mobile.
  • Ben Orser — Joining Zynga as part of their iPhone Development QA is Orser. Prior to this, he filled the same role at Kismet World Wide Consulting.
  • David Longerbeam — Formerly a Director of Quality Engineering at Saba, Longerbeam is now a Senior Manager of QA Operations at Zynga.
  • Mark Troyer — In an internal change, Troyer changes roles from AS3/PHP Game Developer to Senior Software Engineer at Zynga.
  • Elaine Duignan — Now an HR Manager EMEA at Zynga, Duignan was previously an HR Manager for GE Security.
  • Jason Guzzardo — Part of the Bonfire Studios acquisition, Guzzardo switches from a Network Programmer under that tag to become a Senior Software Enginner under Zynga.
  • Bill Jackson — As noted already, Bill Jackson is now the Creative Director (Dallas) for Zynga. Prior to this, he was the Founder and Design Director at Bonfire Studios.
  • Andrew Pellerano — Another change at Zynga appears as Pellerano changes roles from Flash Developer to Senior Software Engineer.
  • Andre Soto — Previously Information Security at Shutterfly, Soto joins Zynga as a Lead Security Architect.
  • John Wang — Wang joins Zynga as a Senior Financial Analyst. Prior to this he was a Financial Analyst at Google.