Glu Refugee Thomson Finds Home at GREE’s OpenFeint on Developer Relations

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By Kim-Mai Cutler Comment

There’s more executive reshuffling afoot in the mobile games industry.

Sarah Thomson, who served briefly at Glu Mobile as its director of business development before the company did a dramatic restructuring and let go of several C-level executives, joins OpenFeint as its director of developer relations. Before that, Thomson became known for her work at IUGO Mobile Entertainment, where she led product development on Toy Bot Diaries, Zombie Attack! Implode XL and Lil’ Pirates, which was sold to Capcom.

She jumps to another company with a tumultuous recent history. OpenFeint has been a revolving door as of late with many senior executives leaving the company less than six months after its acquisition by Japanese gaming giant GREE. The deal was meant to fuel international growth for GREE, a publicly traded mobile-social gaming company that faces a largely saturated market at home in Japan.

But less than six months after the acquisition was announced, the company’s 27-year-old chief executive and founder Jason Citron, was unceremoniously replaced by GREE’s pick Naoki Aoyagi to run the subsidiary. Citron owned 17.4 percent of OpenFeint at the time of its $104 million sale to GREE.

Tina Tran, who was the senior director of developer relations there, also left for HTML5-focused startup FunSockets.