Rumour – Former EA executive turned Zynga COO kicked off games

Wednesday, 1 August 2012 04:47 GMT By Brenna Hillier

An executive reshuffle has pushed John Schappert out of his role overseeing game operations at Zynga, according to trade rumour.

The Wall Street Journal cites insider sources for word that Schappert, who left a COO role at EA for one at Zynga in April 2011, is “no longer responsible for the company’s games”.

Shifting emphasis to mobile games and overhaul to web-based offerings are cited as motivations for the move, which is why Schapert’s duties will be shouldered by chief mobile officer David Ko and executive vice president Steve Chiang .

The two had previously reported to Schappert but will now apparently answer only to CEO Mark Pincus.

The rumour fits with Zynga’s increased investment in mobile over its traditional Facebook efforts; the extra spending of expanding onto mobile, along with the general decline of Facebook gaming, were cited when the casual and social publisher post disappointing returns this quarter.

Schappert’s credits include founding Madden developer EA Tiburon and playing a key executive role on Xbox Live; it seems a tremendous waste of his veteran talents to sideline him.

Thanks, Gamasutra.