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Friday, August 31, 2012

Zynga to lose two vice presidents amid stock tumble

Zynga Inc. (ZNGA) vice presidents Bill Mooney and Brian Birtwistle have departed, following other top managers amid slowing sales and a stock decline at the biggest maker of social games on Facebook Inc. (FB), a person with knowledge of the matter said. 

Mooney, a vice president of studios who was general manager of the popular “FarmVille” game, and Birtwistle, a vice president of marketing, resigned this week, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the departures aren’t public.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Pincus has been unable to prevent defections as the company’s stock-price decline erodes the value of equity used to compensate staff. The CEO recently told employees they would receive option grants to help make up for a 71 percent slump in shares since Zynga’s December initial public offering. Investors are shunning the stock on signs that growth is slowing.

Five other managers who exited this month include Mike Verdu, Zynga’s former chief creative officer, who left to start his own company.

Zynga, founded by Pincus in 2007, has experienced lower turnover than other technology companies, Dani Dudeck, a spokeswoman for Zynga, wrote in an e-mailed statement.

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