One of the cofounders of Zynga, the company’s executive vice president of sales and business development Andrew Trader, is no longer with the company, we’ve confirmed. He has been quietly removed from the company’s management page. Remaining cofounders – Mark Pincus, Michael Luxton, Eric Schiermeyer, Justin Waldron and Steve Schoettler, remain.
As of a month ago Trader’s title had been downgraded to VP of Partnerships and Studio Services, although no top sales or business development replacement executive has yet been named.
Why is he gone? No one is saying. CEO Mark Pincus says only “AT [Andrew Trader] and zynga have parted ways. He made an awesome contribution. We need to continue scaling the company.” Trader hasn’t yet returned a phone call asking for his comment.
Zynga’s revenue growth has been nothing short of astronomical over the last 18 months, so it would be hard to blame him for not bringing in the dollars. Perhaps he took the fall for the Scamville saga although that has largely blown over now.
Trader was with Zynga nearly three years, so he’s vested on a lot of his stock. Given how much money is at stake, the whole story about why the first cofounder of Zynga has left the building may never come out. Zynga raised $180 million in December 2009, at a rumored valuation of above $2 billion.
And no, I have no idea why he’s holding a banana in the picture.
Update: Trader was a member of the Zynga “founding team,” but didn’t join until August 2007, about nine months after the company was founded.
Update 2: Trader emails:
“I’m leaving Zynga to pursue other entrepreneurial opportunities and to spend more time with my family. My passion and strengths are really in company building at the early stages and I’m excited about returning to those efforts soon with a new venture. I’m leaving Zynga with 800 employees, more than 230 million monthly users, and with the high-class problems of scaling a massive and successful organization.
I’m incredibly proud of the results I helped Zynga achieve as both a member of the founding team & senior executive. I was a company builder in many areas including revenue management, business development, marketing, recruiting, and business operations. I’m departing on great terms with the company and I continue to believe deeply in Zynga, its mission, and its people. I know the company will do amazing things.”
As EVP of Sales & Business Development, A.T. is probably trying to contact you right now. You should take his call. A.T.â€™s interest in online gaming dates back to 1978 playing Dungeons & Dragons on Control Data Corpâ€™s PLATO computer, the first MMOG! Prior to Zynga he was the CEO of Tribe.net, a social network sold to Cisco in 2007. He was also the co-founder of Coremetrics, a leader in website marketing analytics.
Zynga was founded in July 2007 by Mark Pincus and is named for his late American Bulldog, Zinga. Loyal and spirited, Zinga’s name is a nod to a legendary African warrior queen. The early supporting founding team included Eric Schiermeyer, Michael Luxton, Justin Waldron, Kyle Stewart, Scott Dale, John Doerr, Steve Schoettler, Kevin Hagan, and Andrew Trader. Zynga’s mission is connecting the world through games. Everyday millions of people interact with their friends and express their unique personalities through our...