Zynga Leadership Team
Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Zynga
Mark Pincus is the Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Zynga.
Pincus founded Zynga in 2007 and pioneered the social gaming industry, helping redefine entertainment and bring gaming to the mainstream. Since its founding, more than one billion people around the world have played and connected through Zynga games, and franchises including FarmVille and Words With Friends have become a part of people’s daily lives.
Pincus also founded Zynga.org in 2009, a nonprofit organization dedicated to using social games for social good. To-date, Zynga.org has raised more than $20 million by connecting millions of players with more than 50 nonprofit organizations around the world. In 2013, Zynga.org partnered with NewSchools Venture Fund to create co.lab, an education technology accelerator focused on enhancing the quality and reach of learning games and apps.
Pincus has pursued his passion for creating Internet products since 1995, when he founded FreeLoader, the first web-based push company. Later, he founded Support.com, a pioneer in automating tech support, and took it public. Then, in 2003, he launched Tribe.net, one of the first social networks. Pincus most recently founded superlabs in 2014, a San Francisco-based product lab focused on developing products that connect and empower people.
He graduated summa cum laude from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is an angel investor in multiple Silicon Valley startups and made founding investments in Napster, Twitter, and Facebook.
Senior Vice President of Games, Social Casino
Lincoln Brown is Vice President of Games for Zynga and helps oversee the Social Casino division. In his role as Vice President of Games, Brown is responsible for the studio P&L and all studio operations.
In less than two years, Brown and his team have launched and grown Hit It Rich! Slots, a Top 20 Grossing mobile game, by partnering with brands such as Sex and The City, The Wizard of Oz, Downtown Abbey, The Terminator and Gone with the Wind.
Prior to joining Zynga, Brown was the co-founder and President of Entertainment Media Works, a venture capital-funded company that allowed viewers to purchase products from TV, movie, and music videos through partnering with leading entertainment studios, including ABC, 20th Century Fox, MTV Networks and Universal Music Group.
Brown has a degree in economics from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Vice President of Games, Zynga
Pete Hawley is Zynga’s Vice President and General Manager overseeing the development and growth of new games and IP.
Prior to joining Zynga, Hawley was the co-founder and CEO of Red Robot Labs, a Mountain View-based social games company, producing location-based social games including Life is Crime. Before co-founding Red Robot Labs, Hawley was the Executive Producer for the Burnout Paradise development team and overall franchise at Criterion Games and Vice President of Development at Electronic Arts. Prior to Electronic Arts, Hawley ran External Development for Sony PlayStation and was one of the first employees at Lionhead Studios, growing the studio’s capacity from 25 to 200 personnel in four years.
In addition to working within the games industry on the studio side, Hawley started as a games journalist working on PC Zone.
Senior Vice President of Games, Slots
Joe Kaminkow is a seasoned game designer with a portfolio of successful slot machines, pinball machines, video games, novelty games and social games. Throughout the fields of game design, operations and networks, slot machine and social games markets.
Kaminkow is the founder of Spooky Cool Labs, originator of Hit It Rich! Slots and Wizard of Oz Slots. Kaminkow is also the Senior Vice President of Game Development for Aristocrat Technologies, one of the world’s largest casino game manufacturers.
Prior to joining Zynga, he served as Vice President of Game Design at IGT, growing and enhancing IGT’s intellectual property portfolio.
Vice President of Games, Zynga
Jonathan Knight is Zynga’s Vice President of Games for the With Friends and Ville franchises, including operations of Words With Friends and FarmVille franchises. Knight has been making computer and video games since 1994, after combining a computer programming hobby with an MFA from Boston University.
At Zynga, Knight has overseen launches and studio operations for popular web and mobile games including ChefVille, CastleVille Legends, FarmVille 2: Country Escape and New Words With Friends.
Prior to joining Zynga, Knight worked for the game industry’s biggest publishers, including Interplay, Activision and Electronic Arts, producing and directing for major franchises, such as Star Trek, Wolfenstein, The Simpsons and The Sims. As VP and Executive Producer at EA’s Visceral Games, he was the creator of two original properties, including the blockbuster Dante’s Inferno, which spawned EA’s first ever Super Bowl commercial.
CEO of NaturalMotion
Torsten Reil is cofounder and CEO of NaturalMotion, which was acquired by Zynga in January 2014.
Prior to founding NaturalMotion in 2001, Reil was researching for a PhD in Complex Systems at Oxford University where he developed computer simulations of nervous systems based on genetic algorithms. NaturalMotion has developed motion simulation programs like Euphoria and Morpheme – ground-breaking middleware designed to drastically cut the time and expense of game development, while allowing game characters to dynamically synthesize motion in response to events around them, creating a more immersive and emotive consumer experience. Euphoria has been used in numerous Triple-A titles including Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Max Payne 3, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, Grand Theft Auto V, BioShock Infinite and Red Dead Redemption. Additionally, NaturalMotion’s Endorphin animation toolkit has been used is several major motions pictures, including Lord of the Rings, Troy and Poseidon.
NaturalMotion has also developed several hit mobile games for iOS and Android for its Racing franchise with CSR Racing, which has achieved top of the chart status in more than 20 countries across paid and free Apple iOS charts; and its People franchise including Clumsy Ninja, which garnered 10 million downloads during the first week of its launch in November 2013 and became the #1 free game in the Apple App Store.
Reil holds a BA in Biology from Oxford University and a Masters in Science in Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems from Sussex University. He has been named one of MIT’s TR-100 global top innovators, Next-Gen’s Top 25 People in the Games Industry, and Develop Magazine’s 25 Game Changers.
Chief Information Officer & Zynga Fellow
Dorion Carroll is Chief Information Officer and Fellow at Zynga. Dorion oversees Zynga's foundational pillars including infrastructure and engineering, player advocacy and support, security, IT, as well as central creative, localization and business services. He is responsible for accelerating Zynga's growth in social gaming through technical innovations and cross-organizational, strategic initiatives that connect Zynga’s players to its games and network as well as to its overall business.
Carroll joined Zynga in 2009 as Studio CTO for Mafia Wars overseeing all technical aspects of game development, management, operations, and architecture for one of Zynga's most valuable franchises. Prior to Zynga, Carroll was VP of Engineering at Technorati, the blog search and social media advertising network, and has held senior management roles at Postini, Excite@Home, Electronic Arts and Oracle. He is a 25-year engineering veteran with deep experience developing products and services in areas including search, e-commerce, email processing, personalization, ad targeting, CRM, data warehousing, order management and financial services.
Carroll has a Bachelor of Arts from Pitzer College with four years of Mathematics / Computer Science at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California.
Chief Communications Officer
Dani Dudeck serves as Zynga's Chief Communications Officer reporting to CEO, Founder and Chairman, Mark Pincus. In this role, Dudeck manages all external and internal communications, media relations and crisis communications. As the senior leader of the communications practice Dudeck oversees all corporate, consumer, and product communication strategy for the company across all businesses and gaming categories including Social Casino, Action Strategy, Invest & Express and Casual. In 2012, Dani received industry recognition by PRWeek in the publication's annual "40 Under 40."
Prior to joining Zynga, Dudeck worked at News Corp as MySpace’s Vice President of Global Communications where she oversaw the company’s in-house communications team, global PR agencies and communications efforts across consumer, technology, product and corporate issues management. Prior to joining News Corp, Dudeck worked for Edelman as a key member of the Digital Entertainment & Technology Practice division, managing the MySpace business globally in addition to other agency clients including Starbucks and Akamai. Prior to Edelman, Dudeck worked at Hill & Knowlton and Cohn & Wolfe where she oversaw campaigns for brands including Yahoo!, Motorola, Hewlett Packard, Toshiba and THQ.
Dudeck earned a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and French language from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Amy Gershkoff
Chief Data Officer
Dr. Amy Gershkoff is Zynga’s first ever Chief Data Officer, leading Zynga’s Advertising, CRM, Growth, and Analytics teams.
Prior to Zynga, Gershkoff served as eBay’s Head of Customer Analytics & Insights. Her work at eBay included creating new data science algorithms to personalize marketing communications and the customer journey throughout the eBay website. Prior to eBay, Gershkoff was the Chief Data Scientist for WPP, Data Alliance, where she worked across WPP’s more than 350 operating companies worldwide to create integrated data and technology solutions.
Previously, Gershkoff served as the Director of Media Planning at Obama for America, where she built the first of its kind in-house media planning department and oversaw the President’s entire advertising operation – including the management of the campaign’s advertising strategy and creation of its analytics systems.
Gershkoff has been named one of the nation’s “40 under 40” leading entrepreneurs, and was featured in the Washington Post as one of the nation’s most prominent innovators. She was also named one of the Top 50 Women to Watch in Tech. She earned her Ph.D. in Quantitative Methodology and Politics at Princeton, where she focused on statistics, data science and game theory.
Chief Marketing Officer
Jennifer Nuckles is the Chief Marketing Officer of Zynga, where she leads the company’s consumer and product marketing, consumer insights, user acquisition, business development, and strategic partner distribution.
Nuckles has 19 years of consumer marketing experience, with a successful track record of building brands, launching new products, and driving growth through integrated marketing.
Prior to Zynga, Nuckles served as the Chief Marketing Officer of Plum District, where she managed merchandising, new product development, and marketing for the e-commerce marketplace and content platform. Before Plum District, Nuckles was the Global Head of Brand and Innovation at Tria Beauty, managing the international direct-to-consumer communication, physician dispense channel, and product positioning for all global product launches. Nuckles also spent nine years as the Global Marketing Lead at The Clorox Company, where she held several leadership positions overseeing brand marketing and consumer insights, in addition to managing many multi-channel P&Ls. Before joining The Clorox Company, Nuckles ran media and entertainment client engagements for five years at the Boston Consulting Group and Arthur Andersen.
Jennifer received her MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a licensed California CPA and a strategic advisor to Cowboy Ventures.
Chief Visual Officer
Henry LaBounta is Zynga’s first Chief Visual Officer, and is focused on leading Zynga’s art community and developing emotive, high-quality gaming experiences for consumers.
LaBounta is an Academy Award nominated visual artist, who brings 30 years of experience in games, blockbuster films, feature animation and television to Zynga. Prior to joining Zynga, LaBounta was at Microsoft Studios where he most recently served as Senior Art Director. Prior to that he was at Electronic Arts where he held numerous roles including Chief Visual Officer and Studio Art Director for world renowned entertainment franchises like Need for Speed.
Before working in the games industry, LaBounta was a Visual Effects Supervisor at DreamWorks on Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report and A.I. Artificial Intelligence. He also worked on Mission Impossible 2 and Twister at Industrial Light and Magic, for which he won a BAFTA for Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects.
Chief Financial Officer
David Lee is the Chief Financial Officer of Zynga, where he leads the company’s finance, accounting, and corporate development operations.
Lee brings with him more than 20 years of experience across retail and consumer industries, with a successful track record of helping drive business transformations, organizational effectiveness and increasing shareholder value.
Prior to Zynga, Lee served as the Senior Vice President of Enterprise Finance for Best Buy, where he was responsible for leading the company’s corporate strategy, financial planning and analysis and treasury teams. Before joining Best Buy, Lee spent more than eight years at Del Monte Foods where he held several leadership positions across finance and general management including Senior Vice President of Strategy, where he oversaw corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, transformation and corporate affairs; Senior Vice President of Consumer Products, Vice President of Strategic Planning and Business Development, Vice President of Finance for Consumer Products and Vice President of Sales FP&A. During this time, Del Monte Foods rapidly transformed and ultimately delivered significant shareholder value to its public investors in the sale of the company to private equity.
Before Del Monte Foods, Lee served as the Director of Strategic Planning at PG&E Corporation for three years, where he helped lead the company’s successful corporate restructuring and turnaround out of bankruptcy. He also spent time creating and implementing consumer growth plans at the Leo Burnett Company, McKinsey & Company, Enterprise Venture Capital and Pacific Venture Capital.
David received his MBA from the University of Chicago, a BA from Harvard College and is a NetKAL Fellow.
Senior Vice President of Operations, Zynga
Marcus Segal is Senior Vice President of Operations for Zynga, partnering with key business leaders within Zynga and NaturalMotion to unite Business Operations, CIO, CTO, People Operations and Source teams under the Studio Operations organization.
As one of Zynga’s earliest employees, Segal has served in a number of leadership roles including building out several partner teams, launching and expanding Zynga’s India operations, serving as the COO of Game Studios and managing several Zynga games. Prior to joining Zynga, Segal served as the Vice President of Operations and acting CFO for Vindicia Inc., a technology company focused on providing advanced billing and risk solutions for digital merchants. Prior to Vindicia, he was VP of Operations at eMusic.com, seeing them through their acquisition by Universal Music Group in 2003.
Before starting his career in technology, Segal worked in television and film, including serving as the executive in charge of production for The Documedia Group, producing the Emmy Award nominated series Sworn to Secrecy for The History Channel. Segal earned his MBA from Pepperdine University’s George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management and bachelor’s degree from University of California, Santa Barbara.
General Counsel and Secretary
Devang S. Shah is General Counsel and Secretary for Zynga, where he oversees Zynga’s legal affairs and government relations.
Shah has been with Zynga since 2010, most recently serving as Deputy General Counsel and Vice President, where he was responsible for Zynga’s product compliance, contracts, securities, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, governmental affairs and international matters. Prior to joining Zynga, Shah worked as General Counsel at UTStarcom, Inc., a telecommunications equipment provider, as Senior Corporate Counsel and Assistant Secretary at Longs Drug Stores Corporation, a retail drug store chain, and as Corporate Counsel at Chiron Corporation, a biotechnology company. He also spent more than five years as a Corporate Associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, one of the nation’s leading law firms.
Shah received a bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University, a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Stanford University and a J.D. from University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall.
Chief Technology Officer, Zynga
Nick Tornow is Zynga’s Chief Technology Officer and is responsible for setting the strategic direction for the company’s use of technology. He also oversees Zynga’s Research & Development efforts, driving technical innovation for Zynga game development teams.
Tornow joined Zynga in 2008, and previously served as the technical lead for games including Scramble With Friends, Zynga Poker and CityVille. Prior to joining Zynga, Tornow was a software architect at Support.com.
Tornow holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.