New Hires in Social Gaming: Booyah, CrowdStar, Gaia, & More

Last week’s hiring activity may have dropped dramatically, but that trend has turned around completely as a high number of social developers have hired on new team members; according to data from LinkedIn.

As always, if your company is hiring new people or making a notable promotion, please let us know. Email editor (at) insidesocialgames (dot) com, and we’ll get it into this or next week’s post. Also, please note that information about most new hires, below, comes directly from company updates from LinkedIn.

Looking for new opportunities? The Inside Network Job Board presents a survey of current openings at leading companies in the industry.

Here’s this week’s full list:


  • Kale Menges, UI Artist — A single hire appears at Booyah this week. Menges was previously a concept artist at Gearbox Software.


  • Patrick Dugan, “Journeyman” Game Designer — Now a part of CrowdStar, Dugan was previously a game designer at Vostu.

Gaia Interactive

  • Jen Bennet, Contract Artist — A new artist appears at Gaia Interactive. Bennett was a freelance illustrator at HoriPro Music Academy.


  • Keith Johnson, Account Executive — Joining GSN this week, Johnson was previously an associate account executive at Turner Broadcasting.


  • Jarrod Schwarz, Senior Director of Marketing — Now at Kabam, Schwarz was most recently the senior manager of Internet marketing at eBay.
  • Courtney Kettman, Player Experience — Kettmann was previously an account manager at World Centric.
  • Ken Hu, Senior BI Data Engineer — Hu was previously a “technical Yahoo” at Yahoo!.


  • Peter Henry, Software Engineer — This week’s first hire for LOLapps, Henry was previously a lead gameplay programmer at Infinite Interactive.
  • Mike Bear, Concept Artist — Also now joining LOLapps, Bear was a concept artist at Rockstar Games.


  • Steve Day, Quality Assurance Analyst — Joining Playdom, Day was previously a customer service supervisor at Hit! Run! Score!.
  • Naveen Selvanathan, 2D Artist — Also joining Playdom, Selvanathan was a facial animator at DQ Entertainment.
  • Ronald Wan, Software Engineer — Wan was previously a software engineer at Involver.
  • Derek Becker, Art Director — Becker was most recently an art director and lead artist at Bottle Rocket Entertainment.


  • Simon Hunger, Artist — There is a single noted hire for Playfish this week. Hunger was previously a lead environmental artist at Curve Studios.


  • Ed Stepanovsky, Director of Sales — As noted prior, Ed Stepanovsky joins RockYou. Prior to this, he was a national sales executive at AdGent 007 Inc.


  • Chiara Grotti, Social Media Marketing – Country Manager Italy — One hire appears for wooga this week. Grotti was previously an online marketing trainee for Italy at Digital Performance GmbH.


  • Jay Srinivasan, M&A Integration Operations — Joining Zynga this week, Srinivasan was most recently an associate principal at McKinsey & Company.
  • Hilten Kapadia, Senior Payroll Accountant — Also joining Zynga, Kapadia was an “accountant II” at Gilead Sciences.
  • Vaibhav Sharma, Java Developer — Sharma was previously a Java consultant at NetApp.
  • Kris Deguast, Principal Software Engineer — Deguast was previously a software consultant at Farelogistics.
  • Deepali Dixit, QA Analyst — Now a part of Zynga, Dixit was a QA engineer for Wells Fargo.
  • Alden Seabolt, Product Manager — In an internal change at Zynga, Seabolt changes roles from Associate Producer for Texas Hold’Em Poker.
  • Christy Bontrager, Associate Artist — Bontrager was previously a background painting and visual development intern at House of Chai.
  • Tony Wu, Game Design Intern — Another new team member at Zynga: Wu was a 3D animator and digital designer at RealPage, Inc.
  • David Westrom, Dev Manager — In another internal change at Zynga, Westrom changes roles from senior software engineer.
  • Jens Stark, Game Lead — Stark was previously a German customer and billing support representative at GOA Games Service Ltd.
  • Wendy Riggs, Litigation Paralegal — Riggs was previously a student at George Fox University.

Publish date: April 14, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT