Mitch Lasky, executive vice president of Mobile and Online at Electronic Arts, has left his position to become a general partner at venture capital firm Benchmark Capital. Lasky was one of the first executives at JAMDAT Mobile, which was purchased by EA for $680 million in later 2005.
As CEO of JAMDAT and then as a senior VP at EA Mobile, Lasky oversaw the release of popular mobile titles such as JAMDAT Bowling, Tetris,
and EA Sports branded titles. During his tenure, the company expanded from a staff of 11 to nearly 600 employees worldwide.
In his new role, Mr. Lasky is to identify investment opportunities in mobile content and platforms, next-generation interactive entertainment, and digital privacy and identity.
Benchmark Capital has been responsible for early funding for mobile gaming and interactive entertainment start-ups such as JAMDAT, Red 5, Habbo Hotel, Second Life
, Gaia, Bebo and Zlango.
The San Jose Mercury News has reported
that Lasky said that he had a "positive experience" working for EA since its purchase of JAMDAT, that he is glad that John Riccitiello is coming in as the new CEO at EA, and that that the EA experience convinced him that his passion was to work with entrepreneurs.
Said Benchmark Capital general partner Bill Gurley, "There are very few executives of Mitch's stature in either the mobile community or the gaming community, and he has established a remarkable reputation within both. We are really proud to have him join the firm.
"As the ecosystems of gaming, entertainment and mobile technologies converge, Mitch has the inside track on the publishers, mobile carriers and talented entrepreneurs --both inside and outside traditional Silicon Valley circles -- who are pushing the margins of new media. He brings a rare blend of business judgment, practical experience and passion to everything he works on, and has the hands-on experience of taking a raw idea and turning it into a leading global company."
[Further coverage of mobile game news and features is available at new CMP Game Group site GamesOnDeck, from which this story is cross-posted.]