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.
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