Playdom Hires John Pleasants as New CEO, Expands with New Hires

With more than 13 million total users, Mobsters is the #1 MySpace game. Since the game’s developer, Playdom, revealed itself to the world in March, the company has been growing. During April and May, Playdom hired 23 people. Today, it announced the hiring of a new CEO: EA COO John Pleasants. Co-founder and current CEO Dan Yue will move into a product strategy role.

While at EA, Pleasants was responsible for businesses including the casual portal Pogo as well as the company’s mobile and social networking efforts.

“Online gaming is the fastest-growing sector of the gaming industry, and social gaming, in particular, is transforming the way people play and experience games,’ said Pleasants.”

In addition, as the company moves toward a studio model, it has brought on two industry veterans as executive producers: Dave Rohrl and Sean Clark.

Before joining Playdom, Rohrl was a senior member in production and design for Zynga, one of Playdom’s major social competitors. In addition to his experience there, Rohrl held similar roles at PopCap, Electronic Arts (Pogo), and The Learning Company. Having produced more than 24 different game titles, Rohrl brings 15 years of experience to the table. At Playdom, he will oversee a Playdom studio focused on new intellectual property.

Also an EA/Pogo veteran is Sean Clark, who was Studio Director for New Platforms. He has a background in casual, downloadable games. He also managed a startup social games studio. Perhaps most impressive, however, is the 14 years he spent at LucasArts. There, he led development on some of the company’s most popular titles, including Sam & Max Hit the Road and Escape from Monkey Island. In total, he has around 20 years of experience. He will oversee a studio focused on role-playing games.

“At this point in Playdom’s growth, it makes sense for us to tap the expertise of accomplished industry veterans like Sean and Dave,” said Yue. “Bringing them on board will allow us to both innovate more quickly and introduce more games across more distribution channels.”

With nine titles within the Top 25 of MySpace, popular games on Facebook, and the addition of Poker Palace to hi5, the success of the company is certainly apparent. It will be exciting to see what new games emerge.