Bloomberg News

Zynga Chief Creative Officer Verdu Leaves to Start a Company

August 29, 2012

Zynga Inc. (ZNGA:US) Chief Creative Officer Mike Verdu is departing to found a new company, adding to the list of top managers who have exited the social-game maker amid a stock-price decline and sales-growth (ZNGA:US) slowdown.

“Being at Zynga in the early days reminded me of how much I love being an entrepreneur,” Verdu wrote in a company blog. “After a lot of soul-searching, I have decided to go back to my roots and start a new company.”

Verdu is at least the fifth manager leaving the company this month. Others include Ya-Bing Chu, a vice president, and Jeremy Strauser, a general manager, two people said last week. Through yesterday, shares of Zynga have declined (ZNGA:US) 69 percent since the company’s December initial public offering, depressing the value of equity used to compensate staff. The stock fell 2.3 percent to $3.01 at 10:03 a.m. in New York.

Verdu, who joined Zynga more than three years ago from Electronic Arts Inc. (EA:US), previously co-founded game maker Legend Entertainment.

Zynga plans to invest in Verdu’s next startup, which will focus on mobile games, Dani Dudeck, a spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Zynga, said in an interview.

To contact the reporter on this story: Douglas MacMillan in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at

The Good Business Issue

Companies Mentioned

  • ZNGA
    (Zynga Inc)
    • $2.67 USD
    • -0.04
    • -1.5%
  • EA
    (Electronic Arts Inc)
    • $48.33 USD
    • 0.27
    • 0.56%
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