Zynga is looking to accelerate its recovery with a major new hire. The gaming firm has hired former EA executive Bernard Kim as its new president of publishing. Previously, Kim worked with Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau at EA.
Zynga CEO familiar with Kim’s abilities
As the head of Zynga’s publishing division, Kim will handle a broad range of vital disciplines, including marketing user acquisition, business development, consumer insights, strategic partnerships and monetization. Kim will report directly to Gibeau. On Monday, Gibeau stated that over the last decade, Kim has been on the frontlines of business transition and major platform shifts. Gibeau added that Kim’s arrival will “accelerate their” execution.
Zynga’s CEO is familiar with Kims’s abilities as they worked together at Electronics Arts. Kim spent almost ten years at EA, and most recently worked as the senior vice president of mobile publishing, where he supersized similar areas to those that will be under his control at Zynga. Also Kim has led EA’s Asian games division and launched many of its major franchises in territories across the region. Before EA, Kim was at The Walt Disney Company as the director of mobile sales and channel strategy.
“Bernard is extraordinarily entrepreneurial and creative, and has a deep understanding of player needs,” Gibeau said. “At Zynga, he will focus on driving more yield from our live services and go-to-market investments for new titles. Bernard will also help reimagine how we bring our products to life by blending consumer insights with world-class publishing and growth strategies to deliver leading social mobile games to our players.”
Huge task ahead
For several years now, Zynga has been in apparent turmoil, triggered by the fall in the social games market. Some hope was restored with the arrival of former Xbox boss Don Mattrick, but in April 2015 after less than two years, Mattrick left the company despite little obvious improvement to its fortunes.
In August 2015, Gibeau joined the board at Zynga, and in March 2016, he was appointed as the CEO. Recently, the gaming giant posted a $117 million full-year loss, indicating the task that still lay ahead.
“Zynga has a phenomenal opportunity in front of it. The company has proven brands, talented teams and the social DNA needed to deliver truly unique mobile games to players,” said Kim.
At 9:57 a.m. Eastern, Zynga shares were up 0.98% at $2.57. Year to date, the stock is down by over 4%, while in the last year, it is down almost 16%. The stock has a 52-week high of $3.07 and a 52-week low of $1.78.