Zynga COO David Ko said to be resigning in exec shake-up

New CEO Don Mattrick is said to be holding an all-hands meeting Tuesday to address the executive shuffle and his vision for the company.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

As new Zynga CEO Don Mattrick takes the helm of the struggling game maker, top employees are leaving the company for a host of reasons. And two more high-level executives are said to be stepping down: Chief Operating Officer David Ko and Chief People Officer Colleen McCreary, according to BuzzFeed.

To address these top-level changes, Mattrick is reportedly holding an all-hands meeting Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. PT to discuss his outlook for Zynga.

According to BuzzFeed, Ko and McCreary are stepping down for different reasons. Supposedly, Ko was planning to leave after not being tapped to be the next CEO. He joined Zynga in 2010 from Yahoo and quickly rose from a chief mobile officer position to his COO position. According to BuzzFeed, Ko's goal is to be CEO of a Silicon Valley tech company.

McCreary, however, appears to be collateral damage in part of the shake-up being directed by Mattrick, according to BuzzFeed. The new CEO joined Zynga last month, coming over from Microsoft's Xbox division. Since his arrival, a handful of executives have stepped down, and right before he joined the company about 520 people were laid off to cut costs.

Zynga, which reported declining second-quarter revenue and bookings in July, continues to lose users. The company reported 39 million daily active users for the second quarter, a figure that's down 45 percent from last year. Monthly active users went down by 39 percent, to 187 million.

Late Tuesday, Mattrick wrote a letter to Zynga employees. In it he confirmed the departure of Ko and McCreary and outlined his goals for the company's management.

"I have been working with our leaders to review different parts of our business in order to develop a set of operating principles to help reset the company. We are now calibrating against the market opportunity and developing detailed plans to achieve topline growth and improve profitability in the future," Mattrick wrote. "To support the above, we are announcing today a number of changes to our organization. We are taking layers out of the executive rank to get senior leaders closer to important product initiatives. With that in mind, I have asked the leaders to sharpen their focus and properly densify talent to resource teams."

With this announcement, Mattrick named new game studio, tech, live ops, and publishing, and functional area leaders. These leaders will report to Mattrick effective immediately.

In addition to Ko and McCreary stepping down, Zynga's chief technology officer, Cadir Lee, is heading toward the exit. Mattrick wrote that these three executives are "leaving the company to pursue other interests."

Update, 7:25 p.m. PT: Adds information from Mattrick's letter to Zynga employees.