It is the end of the line for what was one of Israel's biggest privately-held tech company for most of the last decade. The founders of ironSource, which in 2022 merged with US gaming company Unity Software (NYSE: U), have confirmed that they are gradually leaving the company after a six month period to hand over the baton, which begins today. At the same time Unity president Tomer Bar-Zeev, who served as ironSource CEO before the merger, will step down in July, less than two years after the merger, but he will remain on the board of directors.
The other ironSource founders Arnon Harish, Eyal Milrad, Omer Kaplan, Tamir Carmi and Assaf Ben-Ami will also be leaving Unity. Over the past few days, Unity has confirmed that 25% of the gaming company's workforce of 7,000 will be laid off. According to LinkedIn, ironSource and Unity have 900 employees in Israel.
Unity and ironSource completed their merger in November 2022, after ironSource's share price had fallen 84%. Since the merger, Unity's share price has remained more or less unhanged, moving between $20 and $30. The share price rose 7% after the latest round of layoffs was confirmed.
The departure of the Israeli managers in the company comes in the midst of a managerial and business upheaval at Unity over recent months. In September, changes in the pricing of its products provoked criticism from game designers who rely on its engine, and its long-time CEO, John Riccitiello - who was also one of the architects of the merger with ironSource - left his position. He was replaced by former Red Hat employee Jim Whitehurst who decided to launch a restructuring plan for the company last November, which has been praised by analysts.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 11, 2024.
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