The bad news just keeps coming for Zynga, though the latest may be part of a cleaning house as the company looks to shake off a dismal few months.
John Schappert, the social games maker’s chief operating officer, resigned Wednesday, one week after he was reportedly stripped of his responsibilities overseeing Zynga’s game development.
According to Zynga, Schappert’s departure isn’t tied to any disagreement with the company relating to any matter of internal operations, policies or practices. Word of the resignation spread thanks to an SEC filing.
Though Zynga founder and CEO Mark Pincus called Schappert’s contributions to his company "significant," the crux of why Schappert’s leaving could be that he was identified by name in an Electronic Arts (EA) copyright infringement lawsuit against Zynga last week.
Zynga in hot water
TechRadar reported Saturday that EA alleges "The Ville," a Zynga Facebook game, infringes EA’s copyrights for their Facebook game, "The Sims Social."
Schappert was called out along with several other executives has having been stolen from EA by Zynga in an effort to bring "The Ville" to Facebook, taking with them "detailed, internal strategic plans and development information related to EA’s effort to bring The Sims franchise to Facebook."
The suit came on the heals of underwhelming earning reports, which lead to Zynga’s share price getting chopped by nearly 40 percent.
The company’s investors are also suing Zynga on claims executives and investors dumped stocks prior to the poor earnings, constituting insider trading.
Schappert’s game development oversight duties were reportedly stripped as Zynga aims to shift away from Facebook and toward mobile gaming.
Ironically enough, Schappert came to Zynga in April 2011 before joining EA as its COO. He’d have a stint at Microsoft as a vice president before heading back to his latest and last job.