Zynga Hires Former Facebook, MySpace Exec Owen Van Natta

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Zynga has hired former Facebook Chief Revenue Officer and MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta as EVP Business, reporting to CEO Mark Pincus. Van Natta was most recently in the news in February, when he stepped down as CEO of MySpace after just less than a year on the job. Van Natta has been an advisor to Zynga until now, says the company.

Van Natta will also join the company’s board of directors, joining Pincus, Bing Gordon, Reid Hoffman and Brad Feld.

In January, while he was still running MySpace, I sat down with Van Natta in Switzerland for a long video interview.

Zynga continues to soft sell the idea of an IPO, saying not to expect one any time soon. But they are clearly putting together an executive team that will take them to that level when they’re ready. In addition to Van Natta they also recently brought on a new CFO, Dave Wehner.

Van Natta is considered one of the top deal guys in technology, and has helped scale larger startups operationally. At Zynga he’ll be managing all of business operations, including revenue, corporate development, international, customer service, marketing and communications. He’ll also be reunited with GM Corporate Communications Dani Dudeck. Dudeck, who gave an in depth interview with TechCrunch here, left MySpace to join Zynga shortly after Van Natta stepped down.

Fast growing is certainly the only way to describe Zynga these days. Most of their competition has been acquired or otherwise sidelined, and the company is quickly forging business deals with the largest portals to help wean Zynga off their dependence on Facebook. Yahoo and Google are in the bag.

And they’ve also been acquiring companies at a brisk pace: XPD Media, Challenge Games and Unoh in just the last few months. Given Van Natta’s appetite for acquisitions, expect more of them, soon.

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