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Is There Anyone Left at Zynga?

The brain drain continues as ZNGA plumbs the depths


Another Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) bigwig has left the building.

This time it was Jeff Karp, the chief marketing and revenue officer who announced his exit Monday. This comes on the heels of seven other major departures during the past few months, including:

  • Mike Verdu, chief creative officer
  • John Schappert, chief operating officer
  • Ya-Bing Chu, vice president of the mobile division.
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It’s normal for a newly minted public company to see this kind of activity; the same has been seen in companies like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) too. But that doesn’t mean Zynga shouldn’t be worried.

ZNGA’s stock price is down more than 70% from its IPO, so wouldn’t its executives want to stick around for awhile to turn the boat around and recoup some losses? You’d think so … that is, unless they have next to no confidence in the company.

The big issue for Zynga is that it is an entertainment company, and creative talent is crucial. It’s fair to guess that the environment is deteriorating, and that could lead to even more departures. Plus, interestingly enough, the buzz is that Zynga’s co-founder and CEO, Mark Pincus, is a tough boss. I hope he hasn’t gotten meaner as the stock price plunged!

If you take a look at Pincus’ shareholder letter in the S-1, you’ll find this:

“Our goal is for everyone at Zynga to be a CEO with accountability and authority to drive important outcomes. It takes inspired people to make inspiring products. We’ve endeavored to create an environment that fosters intelligent risk-taking in order to invent bold beats — innovations that really advance the social gaming experience for our players. Our company is diverse, creative and entrepreneurial. I often describe Zynga as a confederation of entrepreneurs.”

Unfortunately, it seems not everyone agrees. That same S-1 also listed the senior management team, which included six members.

Only four are left.

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPOPlaybook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He also is the author of “All About Short Selling” and “All About Commodities.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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