Zynga adds ex-Yahoo exec Ellen Siminoff to board of directors

The founding executive at Web pioneer Yahoo is the first woman to sit on the social-game publisher's board.

Former Yahoo executive Ellen Siminoff has been appointed to Zynga's board of directors, the first woman to sit on the social-game publisher's board.

Siminoff, who is the CEO of educational publishing company Shmoop University, will also join Zynga's audit committee, the San Francisco-based publisher said today.

"Ellen has great experience and insights operating Web businesses at scale and brings a passion for consumer Internet products," Zynga CEO Mark Pincus said in a statement. "Ellen has also been a longtime Words With Friends player with her family and shares our mission to connect the world through games."

A founding executive at Yahoo, Siminoff held a variety of roles at the Web pioneer, including overseeing its entertainment and small-business division. Prior to Shmoop University, she also served as the CEO of Efficient Frontier, an advertising-technology company that was acquired by Adobe Systems in January.

"Zynga is truly about deep connections between people, and the company has built a significant, engaged player community around the benefits of play and social," Siminoff said in a statement. "I admire this vision and I look forward to working with Mark and my fellow directors to leverage Zynga's tremendous success and extend its consumer facing platform for play even further."

The move comes less than a month after social network brethren Facebook appointed the first woman to sit on its board of directors. Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at the social-networking giant, was named to the board on June 2 after a wave of criticism regarding a lack of diversity on the company's board.

Siminoff, who also sits on the boards of directors for Journal Communications, Mozilla, Solarwinds, and U.S. Auto Parts Network, will join a Zynga board that consists of Jeffrey Katzenberg, Reid Hoffman, Sunil Paul, William "Bing" Gordon, Stanley J. Meresman, Owen Van Natta, John Schappert, and Pincus.

Featured Video

We pummel the powder in Nissan's Winter Warrior concepts

Equipped with suspension lifts and actual tracks, these concepts are meant to reach places that no ordinary vehicle can.

by Jon Wong