Report: Schappert leaves EA for Zynga

By Steve Watts, Apr 26, 2011 11:30am PDT

EA's Chief Operating Officer John Schappert has left the company, and reportedly will be joining casual games giant Zynga, according to sources cited by Reuters. Word of his resignation came from a regulatory filing yesterday, and a source claims he's been brought on to join Zynga's senior management team as the head of the games division.

Analysts note that Zynga may be relying on Schappert's experience at EA and Microsoft to prepare for public trading. "If Zynga is serious about going public, they need someone who knows how to do it," said Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter. "They just grabbed a guy to give them what they were missing -- public management experience."

Zynga has been expanding quickly, acquiring 10 smaller casual studios in the last 11 months, and securing some heavy investment funds. This also seems like a good fit for Schappert, who initiated efforts to shore up EA's own mobile and social games divisions.

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