Zynga's explosive growth has given way to explosive change, as the company's year of upheaval continues with confirmation today that COO John Schappert has left the company.
In a statement, Zynga founder and CEO Mark Pincus portrayed the parting as amicable, saying, "We can confirm that John Schappert has left Zynga and its Board of Directors effective immediately. 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."
One of the founders of Madden NFL developer Tiburon Entertainment, Schappert left his post as Electronic Arts COO to join Zynga in April of 2011. In between stretches of employment at EA, he had a stint at Microsoft, heading up its Xbox Live business from 2007 to 2009.
The last year for Zynga has been nothing if not eventful. After establishing itself as a force in the Facebook-based social game market with titles like FarmVille and CityVille, Zynga went public in December, acquired Draw Something developer OMGPOP for a reported $180 million, and saw its stock rise to nearly $16 before dropping to its current price below $3.
On top of that, EA last week announced a lawsuit against Zynga, alleging that its social game The Ville infringes on EA's The Sims Social copyright. Schappert was mentioned numerous times in the suit as one of a number of EA employees who had inside knowledge of Sims Social and had since gone on to work at Zynga.