Mitch Lasky has left the world of game publishing and settled in the comfortable digs of venture capital.
Lasky stepped down from his post as executive vice president of mobile and online at Electronic Arts Inc., joining Silicon Valley-based investors Benchmark Capital as a general partner. The former entrepreneur will be charged with identifying investment opportunities in mobile content and platforms, next-generation interactive entertainment and digital privacy and identity.
EA will replace Lasky with Michael Marchetti, who has been with Jamdat Mobile Inc. since 2000. Marchetti, who most recently served as COO of the division, will report directly to EA CEO John Riccitello.
Lasky helmed Jamdat Mobile Inc. from pre-revenue to an initial public offering in 2004, and sold the company to EA for $680 million in 2005. EA has continued to dominate the space-with a market share of roughly 30 percent-due largely to Jamdat’s impressive portfolio of franchises, including Tetris, the world’s most popular mobile game.
Benchmark manages more than $3.5 billion in venture capital and has backed startups including MySQL, OpenTable and Zillow as well as companies including eBay, Juniper Networks and Red Hat.
“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,” said Bill Gurley, a Benchmark general partner. “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.”