Ngmoco Hires COO From Current TV Ahead of Major Growth Spurt

Ngmoco has hired Joanna Drake Earl to be its second in command, as the game company grows and begins to fully execute its vision of being a mobile entertainment network.

Earl will be the company’s chief operating officer and will begin Sept. 6, after wrapping up her job as chief strategy officer and COO at Current TV, the cable station started by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt.

In her new job, she’ll be leading day-to-day operations at Ngmoco, and will work closely with the company’s CEO and founder, Neil Young.

The appointment comes ahead of a major growth spurt for the San Francisco company, which was purchased by Japanese-based DeNA late last year. It anticipates adding another 100 staffers to its base of approximately 200 employees over the next four months.

Since being purchased by DeNA, Ngmoco has been busy building a very large mobile game network called Mobage (pronounced mo-bah-gay), which launched on Android devices in all English-speaking countries in July.

While today Mobage consists mostly of a game network that connects players around the world, it aspires to be a much broader entertainment network for next-generation devices, something that has been mainly Young’s vision up until now.

That’s where Earl will be able to step in, having coming from the TV industry. “The more I spoke with Neil and saw where they were headed, there’s a lot of similarities,” Earl said. “I was the first executive to join Al Gore and Joel Hyatt to build a new kind of media company — one that was focused on inviting the audience to collaborate.”

She added that the vision for Ngmoco and Mobage in building a worldwide brand is equally large.

“It’s the scaling of Mobage on Android now, and soon iOS, and then beyond, while also going into more territories. The ambition is big, and there’s a lot to do. Neil is in demand while we are in its start-up phase. He’s asked me to come in and be a No. 2, to take off an operational burden. I’m comfortable doing that.”

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