On the eve of Zynga’s planned $1 billion initial public offering, the company’s general manager Jeremy Verba has officially left the company to become CEO of dating site eHarmony. According to his LinkedIn profile, Verba worked at Zynga for 19 months.
Verba was the man responsible for Zynga’s Treasure Isle game, which was released in April 2010. The game took off quickly, peaking at about 28 million monthly active users, but the game’s popularity has declined and currently only generates about 5.7 million monthly active users. Apparently, the game had a difficult time generating virtual goods sales, compared to games like FarmVille, Mafia Wars, and Zynga Poker.
Considering Zynga is ready to go public, eHarmony must have offered an incredible deal to pull Verba away. Zynga hopes to raise $1 billion in its IPO and earn a valuation between $10 billion and $20 billion, putting the company well ahead of other game publishers, such as Electronic Arts, which only has a market cap of $6.4 billion. Comparatively, eHarmony’s private dating site has raised around $110 million in funding, according to the SEC, but it’s unclear how lucrative the deal really is for Verba, compared to if he had stuck it out through Zynga’s IPO.
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