Surging social game developer Zynga just announced that it hired Neil Roseman, a former Amazon.com and startup executive, as vice president leading its new Seattle engineering and product development office.
From 2007 to 2009, Roseman was chief executive of Evri, a Paul Allen-backed semantic search and media service. Earlier he launched Amazon’s music category, led the company’s digital media business and launched its third-party and enterprise-selling platforms.
San Francisco-based Zynga — maker of hits such as FarmVille and Mafia Wars — is looking at offices in the Pioneer Square area for its Seattle outpost. The company’s recent funding reportedly values it at about $10 billion.
Roseman will report to Owen Van Natta, Zynga’s executive vice president. Van Natta was previously chief executive of MySpace, which expanded its Seattle presence during his tenure.
The hiring of Roseman topped a BusinessWeek story today about talent poaching in the tech industry. It said Zynga used a former Amazon manager to contact Roseman, which led to a one-on-one meeting with Zynga Chief Executive Mark Pincus.
According to the article, “Pincus told Roseman how much he wanted him to lead a team of engineers and assured him he wouldn’t have to leave his home near Seattle.”