Social gaming giant Zynga has strengthened its board of the directors with the appointment of Google's vice president of engineering Dr Regina Dugan.

Dugan will chair the board’s Nominating and Governance Committee, as well as joining chairman Mark Pincus, CEO Don Mattrick and director Bing Gordon on the company’s Product Committee.

Alongside her role as vice president of engineering at Google, Dugan serves as leader of the company's Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group, the division tasked with creating new innovations in mobile computing and accelerating the development of new technology.

She joined Google from phone manufacturer Motorola Mobility, where she served as senior vice president and as a member of the senior leadership team until February 2014, when the ATAP division was transferred to the search giant’s Android, Chrome & Apps product area.

Zynga chief executive Mattrick commented that he had admired Dugan’s work and “visionary thinking” for years, predicting that she would be an “incredible addition to the board of directors and a true catalyst for creative thinking.”

“Regina is a dynamic leader who embraces new ideas and inspires teams to reimagine how technology and tools can positively disrupt the world,” Mattrick explained. “As we focus on growing and sustaining our leading franchises and creating new hits, Regina's expertise and counsel will put us in a better position to deliver consumers next generation entertainment experiences that span categories, platforms and devices.”

Commenting on her appointment, Dugan said that Zynga’s products had successfully brought games to new devices and channels, describing the company as “full of creative thinkers who embrace the power of play.”

“I look forward to working with Don and the board on the company's next chapter,” she added.

Before joining Motorola, Dugan served as the first female leader of the US Department of Defence’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a division responsible for the development, research and demonstration of new military and combat technology. As a director, Dugan was responsible for leading strategic initiatives in cyber security, hypersonics, social media and advanced manufacturing.

She is also the sole inventor or co-inventor of multiple patents and patents pending.

Dugan joins chairman Pincus, CEO Mattrick, EA co-founder Gordon and independent directors Stanley J. Meresman, Sunil Paul and Ellen F. Siminoff on Zynga’s board alongside John Doerr, who was recently appointed lead independent director.

She is the first replacement director to be appointed following the departure of Dreamworks Animation chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and Linkedin founder Reid Hoffman, both of whom stepped down from the board last month. The company is currently seeking a second candidate to ensure it complies with NASDAQ regulations regarding the composition of independent directors.

Shares in Zynga Inc. (Co.Data) (NASDAQ:ZNGA) closed in New York Thursday down 0.99 per cent at $3.01 per share.

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