Trip Hawkins, founder of mobile and social game developer Digital Chocolate, has stepped down from his CEO role and has taken on an advisory position, as reports indicate up to 180 layoffs have occurred at the company.
Hawkins, who also previously founded Electronic Arts and the 3DO Company, said on the Digital Chocolate blog
, "I am transitioning now into a consulting and advisory relationship with Digital Chocolate."
"Digital Chocolate is narrowing its focus and it made sense to get more streamlined," he added. He noted that he plans to remain involved in digital media and games.
Alongside the announcement, TechCrunch is reporting that
current Digital Chocolate president Marc Metis has stepped in as interim CEO as Hawkins departs the role.
It is also reported that the studio has laid off up to 180 staffers at its India, San Mateo and Russia offices, amongst others, while some studios, including the company's Mexicali office, have been closed completely.
The general manager of the Mexicali studio appeared to confirm this particular closure via Twitter, where he said
, "Digital Chocolate Mexico closes its doors."
Gamasutra has contacted Digital Chocolate for confirmation.