Tapjoy replaces CEO with former Disney executive Steve Wadsworth

Steve Wadsworth, Tapjoy

Tapjoy, a mobile app marketing firm, has replaced its CEO and president Mihir Shah with Steve Wadsworth, the former president of Disney Interactive Media Group. The move is the latest turn for a company that has often been in the spotlight, sometimes for unflattering reasons.

Wadworth, who is currently a Tapjoy board member, will take over a company that has become a reliable tool for app developers to monetize their apps. The company provides tools that allow developers to make money by getting app users to complete certain tasks, like watching a video, signing up for a subscription or downloading another app. It also launched its own direct-to-consumer portal where users can find and download games.

Tapjoy ran afoul of Apple last year for its incentivized app downloads because it was apparently manipulating the App Store rankings. Tapjoy backed off but has resumed the practice using HTML5 windows that don’t get reviewed by Apple.

Previously, the company, known as Offerpal, was criticized in 2009 for the way it offered virtual currency in Facebook games for signing up for a service, sometimes subscribing an unaware user to paid services. The situation came to be known as Scamville.

It’s unclear what prompted the change at the top for Tapjoy. Shah assumed the CEO position in 2010 after the company changed its name to Tapjoy following the Facebook Scamville episode. He helped the company focus on mobile monetization, which has become a huge opportunity thanks to the booming app market.

Wadsworth worked at Disney for 17 years building up the company’s digital media and technology business. He spent 11 years of those years as Disney’s chief Internet and digital media executive before retiring in 2010.

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