One of the legends of the PC and electronic gaming industry and early champion of mobile gaming Trip Hawkins is leaving his longtime post as CEO of Digital Chocolate. In a blog post at the company site, Hawkins said that his departure marks a “next stage” of streamlining and narrowed focus for the company. He will continue to consult and advise the company.
There have been rumors of large layoffs looming for the company –- up to 180 people. According to TechCrunch, an employees from the Mexico office Tweeted that the operation there had been shut down. Traffic to its suite of social games across Facebook and mobile platforms has been in decline. Nevertheless, it acquired sandlot games in August of 2011 and hired new executives as recently as January. More than $12 million in financing was attained in 2011 alone.
Hawkins says he just marked the 30th anniversary of his founding and incorporating Electronic Arts. Between EA and Digital Chocolate he led the game console-turned-software company 3DO. He has been at Digital Chocolate since he founded it eight years ago. He was also among the first workers at the fledgling Apple in the late 1970s.