Tapjoy restructures executive team, slashes staff
Mobile advertising and monetization firm Tapjoy is reshuffling its executive ranks and laying off more than 20 staffers--roughly 10 percent of its total headcount--TechCrunch reports.
Tapjoy Vice President of Global Communications Patrick Seybold confirmed the changes in a statement. "Jeff Drobick, our CPO, is now in an expanded role and will oversee our Product and Engineering organizations end-to-end," Seybold said. "Sean Lindsay, who had been running Tapjoy's Boston engineering office, is now VP, Engineering for the company, reporting to Jeff. In conjunction with these appointments, the company is also reorganizing its engineering organization. The changes are intended to address velocity of getting products to market, product quality and scaling the company's core infrastructure for continued growth."
Seybold said Tapjoy reduced its staff "to better align our organization with our business plan and strategic direction." He declined to disclose the exact number of layoffs.
The moves follow about seven months after Tapjoy President and CEO Mihir Shah abruptly resigned his post, with former Walt Disney Interactive Media President Steve Wadsworth assuming the top spot. TechCrunch adds that Chief Financial Officer Al Wood and Senior Vice President of Engineering Claire Hough have also exited the Tapjoy ranks in recent weeks.
Tapjoy enables users to earn virtual rewards in exchange for installing partner applications, watching sponsored videos or subscribing to services. Its platform initially targeted Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, but after Apple cracked down on incentivized app installs in April 2011, Tapjoy turned its focus to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and began exploring HTML5-based options.
Although the Tapjoy model has drawn fire from some media quarters, Chris Akhavan, the company's vice president and general manager of partnerships and strategic promotions, last year told FierceDeveloper that its platform is designed to avoid the disruptions inherent in traditional in-app advertising approaches. Akhavan describes what Tapjoy offers as "premium content" that gives users a reason for getting involved with an ad.
"There's a lot of inaccurate information out there about the model," he said. "This notion of just generating a lot of volume to get up in the charts? That is very much a two-years-ago thing. The model has evolved beyond a pay-per-install model to something that really has the user's attention. The key thing here is that everyone in the equation is benefiting."
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