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Zynga's VP of business development has left his post

Jonathan Flesher quit Zynga earlier this month, the second executive to leave in November

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 20, 2012 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2bd9

Zynga’s long list of resignations is continuing to grow, a sign that, despite a recent quarterly report that came in better than expected, the company still faces an uncertain future.

The latest executive to abandon ship is Jonathan Flesher, VP of business development, AllThings reported Monday. His last day was November 9.

Flesher worked at the company for three and half years, and, according to what sources say, he left to both spend more time with his family and to explore new opportunities.

As part of his responsibilities while at Zynga, Flesher inked partnerships with Yahoo, Google, MSN and AOL, also working with celebrity endorsements, such as Lady Gaga and Snooop Dogg.

In October, right before the release of its earnings reports, Zynga announced  that it was partnering with bwin.party to offer real money online Poker and Casino games in the UK market. Zynga's UK-based RMG service and bwin.party will launch RMG products including Poker and a full suite of 180 Casino games in the first half of 2013, which include table games such as slots, roulette and blackjack. Flesher was the driving force behind the deal.

Zynga could not be reached for comment.

Other departures

Flesher is just the latest in a string of Zynga executives and employees who have decided to leave the company.

Earlier this month, Zynga announced that its chief financial officer David Wehner would be leaving to take a position at Facebook.

Others who have departed include  Zynga’s Chief Operating Officer John Schappert. who resigned in August. No explanation was given, with the company saying in an SEC filing that the resignation was “not tendered in connection with any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices.”

Then it was Chief Creative Officer Mike Verdu, who left in late August to start his own company and Alan Patmore, general manager of CityVille, who left to work at Kixeye.

Erik Bethke, general manager of Mafia Wars 2; Ya-Bing Chu, a VP in Zynga’s mobile division; and Jeremy Strauser, a general manager have all left as well.

In September, chief security officer Nils Puhlmann left his job, and Wilson Kriegel, the chief revenue officer of Omgpop, also decided to quit.

In October, Laurence “Lo” Toney, general manager of Zynga Poker also decided to leave, a major blow given how dependent Zynga is going to be on making money from online gambling.

While most of these departures have seemed amicable, the split between Zynga and Patmore has turned ugly, with Zynga accusing Patmore of breaching his contract, and of stealing company secrets.

Zynga says that Patmore stole 760 files by putting them into a Dropbox account, which he then attempted to delete once they were on his personal Cloud storage. The 760 files allegedly stolen include internal assessments of Zynga games, future plans for Cityville, monetization plans for Cityville, over 10,000 design documents, information concerning revenue and employee compensation, and 14 months of confidental communications regarding product reviews, business strategies, acquisition targets, market analysis, key hires, sales projections and financial estimates.

The lawsuit is still ongoing.

Zynga’s financial future

In early October, Zynga announced that it was lowering its outlook for the remainder of 2012. 

In a preview of its financial results for the third quarter of 2012, Zynga said that it expected to report revenue in the range of $300 million to $305 million and bookings in the range of $250 million to $255 million.

When its third quarter numbers came in, they managed to beat expectations, with revenue of $317 million, and bookings of $256 million.

Despite the expected numbers, analysts still seemed unimpressed with the company’s outlook, and its stock has remained low, currently trading at $2.19 a share.

(Image source: http://game.163.com)


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