According to VentureBeat, there has been a management shuffle at CrowdStar, one of the top social game companies.
Niren Hiro has stepped down as CEO after less than a year on the job, and Executive Chairman Peter Relan is taking over.
VentureBeat reported this as a shift in strategy and direction. In a joint statement, Relan said, “We agreed about our larger goals but not on the path to get there. We have different visions on how to scale the business and exploit the opportunities before us.”
But, not so fast. As pointed out by Inside Social Games, CrowdStar claims to have 75 employees. That’s 25% less now than last year. The rumor mill has been amock that CrowdStar has been negatively affected by changes at Facebook and its stalwart hit games (the Happy series) are not growing like they were last year.
So, what’s next? Probably a lot more movement toward mobile social apps since Relan is a lead investor in Open Feint and YouWeb, both focused on mobile and cross-platform gaming.
And, to gain the scale necessary to compete with Zynga, CrowdStar will surely try to raise money to sell to a larger company. I would imagine, however, it will not be at the valuation of what they could have raised or sold last year (it was rumored that CrowdStar rejected a $500 million offer from Microsoft last year).