Former MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta Leaves Zynga Executive Role

FarmVille - Video Game Still - 2011

Meanwhile, CEO Mark Pincus could sell 10% of his shares in the social gaming powerhouse, according to a report.

NEW YORK - Social gaming giant Zynga, which is expected to go public in the near future, said in a regulatory filing that former MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta has resigned from his position as chief business officer.

The departure of the high-profile executive from the company behind such Facebook games as CityVille and Mafia Wars was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal said Van Natta, who was responsible for the company's revenue strategy, corporate development, international expansion and brand, will remain on Zynga's board. But he had agreed to stay at the firm for only a year or two when he joined it in 2010, it said.

The Journal highlighted that Zynga has been expanding its executive team, adding John Schappert as COO in May, for example, which has reduced Van Natta's role. Zynga CEO Mark Pincus also felt that Van Natta was no longer contributing to day-to-day operations, although he valued him highly, a source told the Journal.

By leaving before the IPO, the 41-year-old Van Natta is giving up on a chance for millions of dollars worth of unvested stock.

Meanwhile, the New York Post reported that Pincus could sell 10 percent of his of his more than 90 million shares in the planned IPO.

The paper said that this could yield $125 million-plus based on an earlier share sale.