Zynga COO Downie latest to depart social gaming outfit

Zynga COO Downie latest to depart social gaming outfit

Friday, April 24, 2015 Totally Gaming
Zynga COO Downie latest to depart social gaming outfit

Clive Downie, chief operating officer of Zynga, has become the latest member of the social gaming company’s senior management team to exit the company.

Downie first joined Zynga in October 2013 having previously served as chief executive officer of rival social gaming outfit DeNA West.

However, after just over a year-and-a-half as chief operating officer at Zynga, Downie will now step down from the role.

Although Zynga has not confirmed the reasons behind his decision to exit the company, the Venturebeat website reports that Downie has accepted an offer to become chief marketing officer at games developer Unity Technologies.

John Riccitiello, chief executive of Unity, told Venturebeat that Downie will join the San Francisco-based company’s team and that he was “thrilled” to have the former Zynga executive on board.

Downie’s departure comes just a matter of weeks after Zynga announced that Don Mattrick was to step down as chief executive officer of the firm.

Mattrick was first appointed to the position in July 2013 in a move that saw Zynga founder Mark Pincus step aside from the role. However, Pincus will now return as chief executive officer in an effort to boost the company’s fortunes.

During his time as chief executive officer, Mattrick adopted a mobile-focused strategy in an attempt to drive new business at the company. However, Zynga has struggled to make up ground on the social gaming sector, with its shares having traded below $5 for more than a year.

Founded Zynga in 2007, the firm was previously regarded as one of the fastest growing companies in Silicon Valley, but its progress has been slowed in recent years due to heavy losses.

Zynga is also currently facing a lawsuit in the US in regards to accusations that it defrauded shareholders about the prospects before and after its initial public offering back in December 2011.

Despite the negativity surrounding the company, Pincus outlined his ambitious targets in a letter to staff last month.

“I am returning to the company that I love in order to accelerate innovation in the most popular categories like Action Strategy and strengthen our focus on our core areas like Invest and Express,” Pincus said.

"I look forward to partnering with our leaders to intensify our focus on social experiences for the millions of consumers who play our games.

“Zynga pioneered social gaming for the mass market and our mission to connect the world through games has never wavered.”

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