FarmVille creator Zynga ups Hess to comms VP

Stephanie Hess continues to report to newly minted CCO Dani Dudeck, who previously held the title.

Stephanie Hess
Stephanie Hess

SAN FRANCISCO: Social game developer Zynga has promoted Stephanie Hess to VP of communications.

Hess began the role on March 16. She continues to report to newly minted CCO Dani Dudeck, who previously held the communications VP title.

Hess previously served as senior director of corporate communications at Zynga. In her new position, her scope will be broadened to include a more holistic focus on internal and external communications.

Her responsibilities include media relations, financial and investor comms, executive platforms, and corporate and employee comms, she told PRWeek.

As part of her responsibilities, Hess is partnering closely with Zynga CFO David Lee and the company’s IR department. She will also work with Zynga’s IR agency, NMN Advisors.

"I will be taking on more employee comms and culture initiatives," Hess said. "We are doing work around values and creating a high performing culture."

Along with Dudeck, Hess is spearheading the Women at Zynga employee group, which aims to provide female staffers with networking and mentorship opportunities.

Zynga’s corporate comms director Kelly Pakula will assume some of Hess’ former duties, such as business press relations. Pakula reports to Hess.

Zynga’s top-line grew by 9%  in Q4 2014, year over year, to $192.5 million. However, its net loss was at $45 million during the quarter, against a net loss of $25 million in the same period a year ago.

The company’s stock price dropped by about 30% last year because of a decline in its user base and few major game launches, according to Forbes.

Prior to joining Zynga in 2012 as senior director of corporate communications, Hess served as VP, corporate comms for Hara, an environmental and energy management startup.

Before that, she worked at Sun Microsystems for five years, most recently as senior manager, strategy and planning, global communities.

Earlier in her career, Hess was VP, corporate PR for FleishmanHillard and director of PR for Oracle, according to her LinkedIn profile.

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