Glu Mobile Restructures With Departures For Several Marketing, Creative Executives

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By Kim-Mai Cutler

Glu Mobile has had a major restructuring following the acquisition of two gaming studios, as the company continues to ramp up its smartphone gaming business.

Several key executives including vice president of marketing Michael Breslin were said to have been let go. Pocketgamer also says that chief creative officer Giancarlo Mori has left the company too. Sarah Thomson, who just joined the company last month to run its partnership program, gPartners, which sources deals with promising third-party game game development studios, was also let go. The full number of layoffs, which apparently happened yesterday and one day after the company’s earnings call, is unknown.

“We do not comment directly on personnel matters. Our focus is on the future of Social Mobile gaming and we are poised to continue delivering high-quality and innovative games,” Glu said in a statement. “This focus combined with recent acquisitions and strong development partnerships will drive continued growth.”

Glu, which is making a challenging transition to smartphone gaming from feature phone games, said this week that it acquired two gaming studios for stock and earnouts worth more than $50 million. One of those acquisitions, Griptonite Games, effectively doubles the company’s development capacity by adding 200 employees.

While Glu’s smartphone business has been picking up, rising to $9.4 million in the second quarter of this year, it hasn’t been fast enough to make up for the shrinking feature phone side of the business. The company still produced a net loss of $1.75 million in the second quarter and projects a net loss of between $7.4 and $8.2 million in the third quarter because of costs to cover the additional headcount from the two acquisitions.

The marketing environment has also become more challenging in recent months with the loss of incentivized installs on iOS, which had been Glu’s strongest user acquisition channel. The marketing side of the company was tasked with finding good alternatives, but finding replacements has been difficult.

On the revenue side, Glu said in its earnings call on Tuesday that other options for replacing offer wall revenue were only making up between 15 and 25 percent dollar for dollar. That’s down from what the company said in May, when it expected to replace 50 to 75 percent of offer wall revenue with incentivized video ads.