GamesBeat

The exodus continues: Zynga Poker general manager quits

As Zynga’s financial situation continues to deteriorate, its executive in charge of its poker game becomes the latest employee to walk out the door.

Zynga Poker general manager Laurence “Lo” Toney updated his LinkedIn page to confirmed he is no longer working at the social-gaming giant. This news comes on the heels of several other key exits from Zynga as well as a falling share price due to players slowly draining out of its FarmVille and CityVille games on Facebook.

Zynga Poker is still a bright spot on the developer’s financial ledger. On Google’s Android Play Store, Zynga Poker is the sixth highest-grossing game. It has investors excited at the prospect of Zynga’s real-money-gambling initiative, which would bring a huge stream of revenue into the successful game. Toney’s departure could dampen that excitement.

“My departure is less about Zynga and more about the vast number of opportunities that currently exist in the Valley,” Toney told All Things D. “I have been approached by several organization to lead teams and companies that I find exciting and compelling. It is the right time for me in my career to move on.”

The San Francisco-based social-gaming company is in a transitional period. It’s attempting to pull its brand out of a Facebook-dependent model into a more diversified plan that involves a deeper investment in mobile and its own Zynga.com platform.

In an open letter last week, Zynga chief executive officer Mark Pincus announced the company would miss its financial projections for its fiscal year. That led to a 16-point decline in its share price. In the Pincus letter, the CEO recommitted his company to investing in casino-style games.

Zynga shares sit at $2.33 today, which is down from a 30-day high of $3.25.


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