updated 07:26 pm EDT, Wed August 8, 2012
Resignation comes following removal of game development duties
Just weeks after being stripped of his responsibilities as chief of game development, John Schappert has resigned as chief operating officer of Zynga. As part of a July reorganization following poor quarterly financial results, Electronic Arts and Microsoft veteran Schappert's duties were divided amongst Chief Mobile Officer David Ko, and Executive Vice President Steve Chiang.
"We can confirm that John Schappert has left Zynga and its Board of Directors effective immediately," Zynga CEO Mark Pincus reported. "John has made significant contributions to the games industry throughout his career and we appreciate all that he has done for Zynga. John leaves as a friend of the company and we wish him all the best."
Business Insider reports that Schappert is named directly in Electronic Arts' lawsuit against Zynga. The filing notes that "Mr. Schappert was then the most senior executive responsible for EA's online social gaming business. The online social gaming business reported directly to Mr. Schappert, and he was directly responsible for designing and implementing EA's competitive strategies in this market. As such, Mr. Schappert had detailed, internal strategic plans and development related to EA's effort to bring The Sims franchise to Facebook with The Sims Social."
Zynga is being sued from multiple angles. Nearly-identical lawsuits are being filed by two California law firms seeking class-action status on behalf of stockholders who allege Zynga never warned them about financial problems. The company's shares dropped 42 percent last week on reports of poor player retention and unexpected competition. As previously mentioned, game giant Electronic Arts is suing Zynga because EA's The Sims Social and Zynga's The Ville are "nearly indistinguishable."