Zynga manager moves to social networking start-up

SAN FRANCISCO: A Zynga Inc executive overseeing one of the social gaming company’s most successful games has left to join Identified, a startup social network for young professionals.

Brian Chu, formerly the lead project manager of Zynga’s hit CityVille, said Friday he will be vice president of product at the San Francisco-based startup.

CityVille had been Zynga’s biggest hit over the past year, only recently ceding its position as the most popular game on Facebook to another Zynga title, Texas HoldEm Poker.

In recent months, several notable mid-level executives have left Zynga, which went public in December but has suffered a steep fall in its stock price. In March Groupon Inc, which runs the daily deals website, poached Curtis Lee, a Zynga director of product management.

Chu said he left Zynga amicably and with “the door open.” “It was an intense time and very stressful,” Chu said. “But I wanted the opportunity to take on the challenge of something as big as professional identity and companies like LinkedIn.”

Identified, which raised $21 million in its second-round venture capital financing, claims a registered user base of 10 million. The startup provides a resume-building and networking service for young professionals under 30 – similar to LinkedIn, but with “gamified” features.

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