Zynga’s New CEO Shakes Up Executive Team


Three execs coincidentally leave to pursue other interests as CEO announces organizational shake up. Maybe they need more time with their families as well.

Zynga filed a Form 8-K today announcing the deparure of David Ko, the COO.  According to a separation agreement (not filed), Ko gets four months of base salary plus a week for each year of service and a cash payment of $562,500.  He also gets some health insurance premiums.

Ko had a base salary for 2012 of $300,000, but he made about $4.5 million when bonuses and stock awards are added.  As of August 2, 2013 Ko held 660,408 shares of Class A common stock and 59,769 shares of Class B common stock, which are economically similar to Class A but have 7 votes per share.

In addition to Ko’s departure, Zynga’s blog posted an email from CEO, Don Mattrick, also announcing the departure of 2 more junior executives, Cadir Lee (Chief Technology Officer) and Colleen McCreary (Chief People Officer [Ed. – Seriously?]).  Lee and McCreary were not sufficiently senior in importance or pay to merit having their compensation disclosed publicly in Zynga’s proxy statement.

In the email, Mattrick described some organizational changes.  He addressed the “resignations” by saying he appreciated their contributions, etc…  He also described the changes to the executive team by saying:

“In parallel to these meetings, I have been working with our leaders to review different parts of our business in order to develop a set of operating principles to help reset the company. . .

To support the above, we are announcing today a number of changes to our organization.

We are taking layers out of the executive rank to get senior leaders closer to important product initiatives. With that in mind, I have asked the leaders to sharpen their focus and properly densify talent to resource teams.”

Sounds to us like the “resignations” may not have been very voluntary.  Mattrick is putting his mark on the executive team.  We wouldn’t be surprised to see some new faces on Zynga executive team while more junior people are “densified,” allowing them to pursue other opportunities.

Maybe, maybe not.

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