Social-game developer and advertising network RockYou has tapped gaming industry veteran Julie Shumaker to head its media department, which is responsible for curating the ad network and developing related products. After a tough 2010 -- which saw a Facebook security controversy, a CEO departure and layoffs -- RockYou seems to be on the mend, hiring some serious gaming talent and expanding globally through acquisitions.
Ms. Shumaker -- one of Ad Age's "Women to Watch" in 2005 during the time she led the advertising sales team at Electronic Arts and worked with EA's "The Sims" franchise -- will rejoin former EA colleague Jonathan Knight, who started at RockYou in January. Also recently hired was former Zynga CityVille designer John Yoo.
"RockYou has a massive network of nearly 200 million unique users that provides brand advertisers the ability to deliver reach campaign," Ms. Shumaker said of her new company, which has run campaigns for Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Progressive . "What I am building on top of that will be the highest brand value per engagement in social entertainment, full stop. This is the DNA I bring to the company."
Previously, Ms. Shumaker's also served as general manager of 1UP.com, a Hearst Interactive Property, and she managed publisher partnerships and global revenues at Double Fusion. Just prior to her new position at RockYou, Ms. Shumaker worked at mobile advertising company 4info, where she oversaw the acquisition of Butter, a mobile-marketing firm that connects brands and apps for content sponsorships. At RockYou, she plans to use her experience of bringing top brands into the game and creating a relationship between the brand and the consumer.
Redwood City, Calif.-based RockYou scored a $10 million investment last June, bringing the total of five rounds of funding since the company's start in 2005 to $127 million. RockYou investors appear confident to see a future return of their money. This week, investment marketplace SharePost issued some research on RockYou, showing that the company has 15 billion global monthly impressions and is valued at $230 million. RockYou has been on somewhat of a buying spree, having snapped up 3-D technology company TirNua in December and U.K.-based social-games company Playdemic in January.