Kabam said today that its chief operating officer Chris Carvalho will leave at the end of the year and will be replaced by Kent Wakeford, executive vice president and general counsel.
The new COO will be in charge of operations for a free-to-play mobile social game company that has more than 700 employees and expects to post more than $300 million in revenues this year.
Carvalho was one of San Francisco-based Kabam’s first 25 employees. He joined four years ago as COO after almost a decade at Lucasfilm, where he was head of business development and drove digital media strategy. He will stay on as an advisor.
Wakeford joined Kabam in February 2011 after serving as an advisor since 2009. He has helped shape the company’s game portfolio, adding development teams through strategic acquisitions and partnering with big studios in Hollywood. He also navigates all legal areas for the company.
Wakeford will report to CEO Kevin Chou. The rest of the management team includes co-founder and Chief of Staff Holly Liu, CFO Steve Klei, President of Publishing and Distribution Amit Ranade and President of Kabam Studios Andrew Sheppard.
“Chris has managed just about every business function at Kabam – marketing, partnerships, finance, international offices, and more — dating back to when the company was just a handful of people working above a dim sum restaurant,” said Chou. “Kabam has grown from virtually zero to more than $325 million in revenue in less than four years and we would not be where we are today without Chris. While we are sad to see him leave, we appreciate Chris’ significant contribution and we wish him all the best in the next phase of his personal life and career.”
He added, “At the same time, Kent Wakeford’s contribution to Kabam cannot be overstated. He is supremely qualified to add the COO role to his responsibilities.”
Wakeford has worked on deals such as getting rights to the Fast & Furious 6 property (owned by NBCUniversal) for a mobile game, as well as The Hobbit, owned by Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He helped Kabam raise more than $100 million in funding from Google Ventures, SK Telecom, Pinnacle Ventures, Warner Bros., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Canaan Partners, Intel Capital, and Redpoint Ventures.
He also helped acquire Gravity Bear, Fearless Studios, Wild Shadow Studios, Balanced Worlds, and Exploding Barrel Games. Wakeford started his tech career at Netscape and spent more than five years at AOL as a vice president.