by Angela Nazworth | July 20, 2012 10:47 am
Social games powerhouse Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) appointed its first female director to its board Thursday. The appointment offers hope that more U.S. businesses are finally beginning to take the call for diversity seriously.
Ellen Siminoff, president and CEO of educational publishing startup Shmoop University and former Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) executive, joins the company’s board and will serve on its audit committee.
“Ellen has great experience and insights operating web businesses at scale and brings a passion for consumer internet products,” Zynga founder and CEO Mark Pincus said in a press release.
Pincus also noted that Siminoff, who has been a longtime player of Zynga’s popular Words With Friends game, shares the company’s “mission to connect the world through games.”
Prior to joining Shmoop University, Siminoff served as president and CEO of Efficient Frontier — which was acquired by Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE). She also was a founding executive at Yahoo, where she held a variety of roles in business and corporate development, culminating with overseeing the company’s entertainment and small-business division.
Siminoff also serves on the board of directors for Journal Communications (NYSE:JRN), Mozilla, Solarwinds (NYSE:SWI), and U.S. Auto Parts Network (NASDAQ:PRTS).
Zynga follows tech giants such as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Yahoo in adding a female director this summer. Facebook appointed Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg as its first female director last month, and Yahoo named Marissa Mayer as chief executive officer and a director this week. Sue James, retired partner of Ernst & Young, also serves on Yahoo’s board.
Zynga’s board includes founder and CEO Mark Pincus, COO John Schappert, venture capitalists Reid Hoffman and Bing Gordon, and DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.
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