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Founders Neil Young and Bob Stevenson have left the Ngmoco division of Japan’s DeNA mobile social network company. That’s a big change for the organization, since DeNA acquired Ngmoco for more than $403 million in the fall of 2010 as part of its plan to move into the U.S. market.
Clive Downie, the vice president of studios for Ngmoco, takes over as chief executive of the San Francisco subsidiary. Young and Stevenson are “moving on to their next adventure,” according to DeNA. The changes are noteworthy, since DeNA is a multibillion-dollar company in Japan and has high hopes of conquering mobile social games in the U.S. It has a big hit with Rage of Bahamut (made by Cygames) right now, but the battle for the mobile gaming market is nowhere near over.
DeNA had $1.4 billion in revenues last year and has a catalog of 77 games across multiple platforms. Young will remain on the DeNA board and “fully supports the executive transition.”
In addition to Young and Stevenson, Ngmoco’s founders include Alan Yu and Joe Keene.
“Over the last several years, I’ve had the opportunity to run many different parts of our organization, which has afforded me full visibility into our operations,” Downie said. “As we move into our next stage of growth, with our business starting to fire on all cylinders here in the West, I’m incredibly excited about our prospects and our mission to become the number one social mobile platform company in the world.”
Downie headed several aspects of Ngmoco’s business, including marketing and live teams. Before joining Ngmoco, he spent 15 years at Electronic Arts. He will be responsible for all of the Western operations of Mobage, DeNA’s mobile social games platform.
“As our Western business moves from its platform building and global integration phase to awareness building, publishing, and operating a robust portfolio of games that entertain the world, Clive’s talents and understanding of our business make him the perfect person to drive Mobage in the West,” said DeNA CEO Isao Moriyasu.
“We couldn’t be happier that Clive, our long time colleague and friend is taking the reins of the Western business by becoming the new CEO,” Young said. “Our confidence in Clive and the momentum of DeNA’s business in the West makes this the right moment for us to move on to our next adventure.”