Zynga has lost one of its biggest players, as it announced that COO John Schappert has resigned. In a statement sent to Fortune, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus confirmed that Schappert had left the company and its board of directors "effective immediately." He didn't say why Schappert had left the company, but it sounds like a rather abrupt departure.
That being said, Schappert could have decided to leave the company because he was stripped of many of his duties just last week. Before the restructuring Zynga is currently going through, Schappert's role was overseeing game development for the company, a duty he lost last week. We can't imagine he was very happy about that, and that may be the reason why he left the company.
Still, to hear Pincus explain the situation, it sounds like Schappert left the company on good terms. "We can confirm that John Schappert has left Zynga and its Board of Directors effective immediately," Pincus said. "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."
Zynga is currently going through something of a financial rough patch, with its stock sinking to all-time lows as its players graduate from Facebook games to mobile games, where Zynga doesn't have as strong a presence. Stripped of his duties, it's possible that Schappert decided that he didn't want to be part of a company that looked to be in major decline. Another interesting thing to note is that Schappert served as COO of Electronic Arts prior to joining Zynga, and Electronic Arts is currently suing Zynga for copyright infringement. Despite the peculiar timing of Schappert's departure as it relates to this lawsuit, Fortune says that it isn't believed the lawsuit had on any bearing on Schappert's resignation.
Zynga doesn't have a plans to recruit a new COO, but seeing as how they took away the last COO's duties, it wouldn't make much sense to hire a new one. Zynga is going to have to work incredibly hard to get back to where it was, so let's hope the cuts made with this restructuring are worth it. Stay tuned, because we'll definitely be hearing more about Zynga's downward spiral soon.