Mike Verdu, Zynga's chief creative offiicer, is departing the casual game developer to start a new mobile gaming company, according to All Things D.
A veteran of Electronic Arts, Verdu joined Zynga in 2009 where he oversaw several Zynga studios and the direction for the social gaming giant's core properties. In a statement, Verdu characterized his departure as a way to return "to my roots and start a new company." He expects Zynga to invest in his new venture, which will focus on developing mobile games.
"I personally don't want to add to the noise level," he told All Things D. "I think this will be a good thing for me and for Zynga … I'm concerned about how this might be viewed with what else is going on, but it's not a function of anything else going on at the company."
Verdu's departure caps a rocky few months for Zynga. After posting a second quarter loss in July, Zynga's sock fell 35 percent in after-hours trading. Later that month, Zynga executives became the target of an insider trading lawsuit that alleged they'd sold shares of sock while it remained valuable, an offer that was not extended to other employees.
Earlier this month, Zynga's chief operating officer and fellow EA alumnus John Schappert resigned. Just days before, EA filed litigation accusing Zynga of poaching their talent and copying their games.