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Another Playboy exec moves on; named CEO of SnapMyLife maker, Mobicious

The sinking ship at Playboy keeps getting lighter with all the exec defections.

from – Mobicious Inc., the company that makes the online photo-sharing software SnapMyLife, has brought in a new CEO from Playboy, cut its staff by half, and moved to a temporary Cambridge headquarters in a space it shares with the virtual goods company Viximo Inc., officials say.

Edward Lang, formerly Playboy Enterprises Inc.’s senior vice president of mobile entertainment, has been at the Mobicious helm since July. The company plans a shift in strategy under its new leadership, according to the former CEO, George Grey, who is now COO. Grey, who co-founded Mobicious in 2007, declined to discuss the new strategy in detail, but pointed to Lang’s extensive contacts in the media and entertainment space.

“You can sort of conclude that we’re planning to do some interesting things in that space,” he said. Prior to Playboy, Lang had worked at Sony Corp.

However, Gray’s co-founder, David Chang, the former vice president of marketing who left the company in July, said Mobicious plans to soft-pedal its mobile advertising revenue strategy for SnapMyLife and pursue revenue relationships with major media properties. “Monetization in mobile is very hard. We were looking at what we can do to turn this into a profitable business,” Chang said. “(Lang) was the right CEO because we’re thinking, ‘Let’s turn this into something we can monetize through the MTVs and CNNs’,” he added.

Yesterday, Chang started in his new role as VP of products at Boston-based uLocate Communications Inc., a location-based software developer. Before Mobicious he had been director of product marketing at m-Qube Inc.

After cutting its staff from 12 to 6, and at the end of its Needham lease, Mobicious has moved in temporarily with new neighbor and fellow North Bridge Venture Partners portfolio company Viximo Inc. In April, Viximo also changed CEOs, bringing on North Bridge principal Dayna Grayson to replace founding CEO Rob Frasca. Mobicious has taken $9 million in venture financing from North Bridge and Israel-based Carmel ventures.

The company is now hiring engineers, with three positions open, Grey said. “We spent a lot of resources on direct marketing,” he said. “What we’re really doing is redirecting those resources into engineering some new functionality to do some new things.”

Mobicious is also seeking a permanent space to accommodate future expansion, he said.

Grey declined to discuss revenue or profitability but said SnapMyLife, which launched in April 2008, now has 1 million registered users, and 10 percent of those users have used the service in the past 30 to 45 days.


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