Zynga Retools Exec Team For Mobile, In-House Experience: Mark Vranesh As CFO, David Ko As COO, Barry Cottle As CRO

Zynga today fought back against a slew of high-level departures it has suffered in recent months by announcing a slate of new appointments to C-level and executive roles.

In all of these new appointments, Zynga is promoting from within rather than bringing in executives from the outside — perhaps in a bid to truly stabilize the company after several rough months in terms of financial performance and stock market reception.

The top-line news here is the resignation today of Dave Wehner, the former investment banker who has served as CFO of the social gaming giant since July 2010. Wehner is taking a new job at Facebook. Succeeding him is Mark Vranesh, a longtime Zynga employee who was most recently serving as Chief Accounting Officer. He had previously worked as Zynga’s CFO from 2008 until Wehner joined in 2010.

Taking the title of COO is David Ko, a former longtime Yahoo executive who had previously been working as Zynga’s Chief Mobile Officer. Ko is taking the spot formerly occupied by John Schappert.

Barry Cottle, a former EA exec who joined Zynga to head up business development in January, is taking over as Chief Revenue Officer. That role was last filled by Jeff Karp, who left Zynga in September.

Steven Chiang has been promoted to the role of President of Games; he’d previously been working at Zynga as executive vice president of games.

Here is an internal note from Zynga CEO Mark Pincus explaining the news:


Today we’re announcing some important changes to the responsibilities of our senior team.

David Ko has been named chief operations officer. In his new role, he will oversee strategy planning, international, infrastructure and operations of the company. Since joining us in 2010, we’ve all seen Dave scale our mobile organization, grow our portfolio by 25 new games and help unite game development teams on our cross platform efforts.

Barry Cottle has been named our chief revenue officer and will be responsible for corporate and business development, distribution, strategic partnerships, advertising sales and operations, publishing and real money gaming. Barry is a seasoned leader having built and scaled businesses for Palm, The Walt Disney Company and Electronic Arts.

Steve Chiang has been named our president of games where he will oversee all games and new IP development across web and mobile and unite all of our game teams under one leader. We’ve all seen Steve guide the game development of Bubble Safari, ChefVille and FarmVille2 among others. He has more than 20 years of experience in the game industry building AAA titles and teams.

I also wanted to let you know that our CFO, Dave Wehner is leaving to accept a senior position with Facebook.

Dave provided great leadership to our financial team over the past two years, helping guide the company’s transition from startup through IPO. Dave has been a great partner for me, the senior team and the whole company. He remains a good friend to us all and we wish him success in his next endeavor.

Mark Vranesh has been named our chief financial officer. This is a role he knows well – he was our CFO during our rapid growth as a private company. As CFO, Mark built and ran our finance, accounting and controls functions and transitioned to the role of chief accounting officer in 2010.

These changes come at an important time. We are positioning ourselves for long-term growth and I’m confident that we have the breadth and depth of management talent to deliver on our mission of connecting the world through games. We are also today reaffirming our 2012 financial outlook that we communicated on October 24, 2012.

With some of our recent game success and the great work that’s being done to move with our players to mobile, we’re making progress. We still have a lot of work to do, but it’s been great to see so many of you step forward to put us on the move again.

Please join me in congratulating David, Barry, Steve and Mark on their new roles.