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Jeffrey Katzenberg jumps on board Zynga-ville

April 4, 2011 | 11:29 am

Jeffrey Katzenberg DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg has joined the board of Zynga, the San Francisco maker of wildly popular free online social games.

Katzenberg's move comes amid a a period of wild speculation over the value of Zynga, whose games boasts tens of millions of players each day. Zynga's latest funding round, which raised about half a billion dollars last month, puts its valuation at close to $10 billion, roughly 10 to 20 times the company's estimated annual revenue.

It has been widely reported that Zynga is preparing for an initial public offering next year.

The company's titles, including Cityville, Farmville, Frontierville and Texas Hold'em Poker, currently occupy four of the top 10 applications on Facebook. About 20 million people play Cityville each day, making it the No. 1 app on the social network.

Katzenberg joins five other executives on Zynga's board, including Bing Gordon, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn; Brad Feld, managing director of the Foundry Group; Owen Van Natta, the former CEO of MySpace before he became Zynga's executive vice president; and Mark Pincus, Zynga's CEO.

Pincus, in a statement, joked that "I knew he’d be a great fit for the board after he suggested that the blockbuster of 2011 could be ShrekVille."

-- Alex Pham

Photo: Jeffrey Katzenberg at CinemaCon last week in Las Vegas. Credit: Julie Jacobson / Associated Press.