John Schappert is a mover. In 2007, he was hired by Microsoft to head up its Xbox Live efforts. Less than two years later, he quit to return to former employer Electronic Arts as chief operating officer. Shortly thereafter, he helped arrange for the megapublisher's $275 million purchase of social game company Playfish in 2009.
The following year at the Game Developers Conference, Schappert said that social and casual gaming was the "hot" sector of the industry. "It's the place to be right now," he said. "But we'll see what happens tomorrow."
Now, just over a year later, Schappert has apparently decided social gaming is indeed the place to be. Reuters is reporting that the executive has now left EA to join social-game colossus Zynga. The news service had no details about what role he will play at the San Francisco-based company, but it did cite an unnamed source close to the matter as saying it would be an executive position.
Schappert's resignation was confirmed by a filing EA made with the Securities and Exchange Commission this morning. The brief document revealed that his last day at the Redwood City, California-based publisher was Monday, April 25, the day he tendered his resignation.
Schappert's apparent defection to Zynga comes less than six months after a report concluded that the privately held company is worth more than EA. According to SharesPost Inc., an exchange for shares of privately held companies, Zynga was then worth $5.51 billion--nearly $300 million more than the then-$5.22 billion market capitalization of EA on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Since then, Zynga's worth has increased, with some recent reports putting its value between $7 billion and $9 billion.