[By Sudarshana Banerjee]

Zynga has hired EA’s executive vice president Barry Cottle as its executive vice president, Business and Corporate Development.  The hiring is quite a coup, and not just because Mr. Cottle oversaw digital games efforts, including mobile, social and casual online games at EA Interactive. Mr. Cottle is the third executive to jump ship from EA over the last year or so.

Mr. Cottle brings to Zynga over twenty years of experience in entertainment, technology and games. He was formerly chief internet officer and chief operating officer of the Wireless and Content division at Palm, and and prior to that he spent over nine years at Walt Disney where he served as senior vice president of marketing at Disney Televentures and chief marketing officer of Americas.

Mr. Kottle  received his master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and his bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University.

Electronic Arts’ chief operating officer John Schappert is now COO of Zynga. Zynga’s chief marketing and revenue officer Jeff Karp also comes from EA, yet another executive vice president, with EA Play.

Who might be next in the league of Zynga’s extraordinary gentlemen?  “It’s rare that you find someone who possesses a deep operational background and also has the vision to see where your business and your industry are headed,” says Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga. “