John Doerr, the lead partner at venture capital powerhouse Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is joining Zynga Inc. (ZNGA)’s board of directors, bolstering governance at the game maker as it seeks to revive growth.
Doerr, 61, who has backed leading Internet companies including Amazon.com Inc. and Google Inc., becomes Zynga’s ninth board member, the San Francisco-based company said in a statement today.
Chief Executive Officer Mark Pincus has relied on the connections and expertise of his star-studded board since founding Zynga in 2007 and turning it into largest maker of online social games, including “FarmVille” and “Zynga Poker.” Bing Gordon, Doerr’s partner and a video-game veteran, led Kleiner Perkins’ 2008 investment in Zynga and has served as a frequent adviser to Pincus.
In addition to Doerr, Gordon and Pincus, the board includes Jeffrey Katzenberg, the CEO of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., LinkedIn Corp. co-founder Reid Hoffman and Yahoo! Inc. veteran Ellen Siminoff, who become Zynga’s first female director after her appointment last year.
“In just five years Zynga has connected hundreds of millions of people to their friends for fun,” Doerr said in a statement. “I’m excited about working with Mark and the Zynga team in its next chapters of growth.”
Kleiner Perkins remains one of Zynga’s largest shareholders, with a stake of 21 million shares worth $72.5 million, based on yesterday’s closing price of $3.45, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Doerr also serves on the boards of Google, Bloom Energy Corp. and Flipboard Inc.
Zynga advanced 2.9 percent to $3.55 at the close in New York. The shares have declined 65 percent since Zynga’s December 2011 initial public offering. The company has lost top executives as growth in its core business of games for Facebook Inc. (FB) has slowed. Pincus intends to expand the lineup of mobile games and enter real-money gambling as regulations on that practice ease.
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