Zynga Appoints Former EA Executive Frank Gibeau as CEO

Zynga today announced that it has appointed Frank Gibeau as Chief Executive Officer effective March 7 reporting to Zynga’s Board of Directors. Gibeau, who joined Zynga’s Board of Directors in August 2015, is a gaming industry veteran, with 25 years of experience in interactive entertainment. Mark Pincus, Zynga’s founder and current CEO, will serve as Executive Chairman of the Board and will also report to Zynga’s Board of Directors

“I recruited Frank seven months ago to become an active board member to advise and coach our teams. Frank has mentored product teams, led roadmap meetings and delivered inspiring talks to our game making and PM communities. Frank has also been a big supporter of our move to smaller more nimble teams. Equally important, we have worked well together and share a common vision for Zynga around mobile and social gaming,” said Pincus.

“Frank has a history of developing strong teams and shipping market leading games. He is a seasoned leader with the experience to quickly navigate the kinds of challenges we face on a weekly basis. He has a proven 25-year track record having helped architect the successful turnaround of Electronic Arts as the President of EA Labels and more recently navigating the company’s platform transition efforts as EVP of EA Mobile. In our industry he’s known for driving operational excellence and leading winning teams on both the publishing and studio side of the gaming business. In terms of our respective roles, as CEO, Frank will report to our Board, leading strategy and execution. I will focus on driving our vision and working with a small number of live and new product teams to help drive innovative new social experiences for our players,” Pincus continued.

“I’m incredibly honored to join the Zynga team as CEO. Mark founded Zynga with the simple premise that it’s more fun to play games with other people and that social gaming was a path to the mass market. I felt the power of this idea as a competitor and was inspired by how Zynga reached unexpected new audiences and opened up brand-new gaming platforms,” said Gibeau. “Despite the success of mobile games, Mark and I believe that the full promise of Zynga and social gaming has yet to be fully realized. We believe that Zynga has an opportunity to create new social experiences to connect even more players together. We will continue to invest in our talent and build on our empowered, entrepreneurial culture. As important, we must commit to a new level of operational excellence with focused execution, engineered hits and strong cost discipline. I’m excited to get started and expect a seamless transition given the progress we’ve made together over the past seven months. I’m encouraged by our early momentum and look forward to partnering with our teams to build on the progress we’re seeing across the company.”

Gibeau, 47, spent more than two decades at Electronic Arts Inc., where he held a number of roles. Most recently he served as the Executive Vice President of EA Mobile from October 2013 to May 2015, where he led strategy, product development and publishing for the company’s fast-growing mobile games business. In that role, Gibeau managed EA’s portfolio of mobile franchises including The Simpsons: Tapped Out, Plants vs. Zombies, Real Racing, Bejeweled, Star Wars, Minions, SimCity, EA Sports and The Sims.

Prior to that, Gibeau was President of EA Labels from 2011 to 2013, where he oversaw IP development, worldwide product management and marketing for major console and PC properties including Battlefield, FIFA, Madden NFL, Need for Speed, SimCity, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Mass Effect, Dragon Age and The Sims. He also spent four years as the President of the EA Games Label, where he was responsible for a business turnaround that resulted in increased product quality, on time game delivery and dramatically reduced costs. Before that, Gibeau was EA’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of The Americas, where he was directly responsible for a publishing operation that accounted for more than $1.5 billion of EA’s annual revenue.

“We are excited to have Frank Gibeau expand his role at Zynga and become the Chief Executive Officer. Since Frank joined the Board, Mark and Frank’s strategic partnership and shared passion for social mobile gaming has positively inspired our teams and business. We’re confident of a successful, seamless transition because of Frank’s hands-on contributions in the last seven months. We look forward to them leading our great teams to deliver winning products for consumers,” said John Doerr, lead Independent Director of Zynga’s Board of Directors and General Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

“Teaming Mark, the Founder and Executive Chairman, with Frank as Chief Executive Officer is the right leadership combination to take Zynga’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship to the next level of strategic and executional excellence. I spend a lot of time working with CEOs and Frank is one of the most qualified, strategic leaders I’ve ever met. I believe he will motivate Zynga’s business and game teams with world-class leadership and a drive for operational excellence, while Mark focuses on his passion for bringing our social gaming vision to life,” said Louis J. Lavigne, Jr., member of Zynga’s Board of Directors and Audit Committee Chair, and former Genentech Inc. EVP and Chief Financial Officer.

“Frank is a great leader with an impressive turnaround track record. He successfully navigated multiple business and platform transitions during his nearly 25 years at Electronic Arts. He created some of the biggest brands in our industry, built and scaled a leading mobile freemium business, and he has elicited outstanding work from game, finance and operations teams. Frank’s publishing, team-building and franchise management skills, coupled with his chemistry with Mark and the leadership team are just the right ingredients for Zynga to connect the world with social games,” said Bing Gordon, member of Zynga’s Board of Directors and General Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.