Zynga Inc. (ZNGA:US) said Dan Porter, who ran the social game company’s New York studio, is departing a year after the acquisition of OMGPop Inc., the mobile game developer that was led by Porter.
Sean Kelly, who has worked on Web and mobile products, including the introduction of the game “CityVille” in 2009, will succeed Porter, San Francisco-based Zynga said in a statement. Kelly will report to Senior Vice President Travis Boatman.
Porter’s departure comes three weeks after he apologized on Zynga’s blog for saying the company has a propensity to copy games. While Porter wrote that the comments, as published by technology website Quartz, were taken out of context, he acknowledged that they “generated negative press for the company.” Porter was Chief Executive Officer of OMGPop, maker of the “Draw Something” application, which Zynga purchased in March 2012 for $180 million.
“We thank Dan Porter for his efforts in making the ‘Draw Something’ franchise a success and wish him well in his future endeavors,” Zynga Chief Operations Officer David Ko said in the statement. “We’re proud to see talent like Sean Kelly take a bigger leadership role as the head of our New York studio.”
Zynga has lost more than a dozen top managers amid slowing demand for virtual goods. Through yesterday’s close, the company’s shares had dropped 68 percent drop since its December 2011 initial public offering. Chief Executive Officer Mark Pincus said in October that he’ll trim 5 percent of staff, close his Boston office, and end more than a dozen titles. Recent departures include Chief Game Designer Brian Reynolds, Vice President Roy Sehgal and Treasurer Mike Gupta.
On March 1, a week before Porter’s public comments, Zynga released “What’s the Phrase,” a word game for Apple Inc. iPhones. The app, from the creators of ’Draw Something,’ is part of the company’s effort to build hit titles for mobile devices to counter slowing demand for apps played on Facebook Inc.’s social network.
Zynga fell (ZNGA:US) 2.5 percent to $3.08 at 2:45 p.m. in New York.
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