Mark Jung Leaves FIM/IGN; No Immediate Replacement As COO

imageNow I really wish I’d started a pool when Mark Jung, co-founder of IGN and CEO when it was acquired by News Corp., took the job as COO of Fox Interactive Media. Roughly eight months into his tenure, Jung has resigned quietly as COO. (He is still listed as president and CEO of IGN Entertainment.) The resignation was reported first by the Mercury News; Ross Levinsohn, president of FIM, said he will assume the COO responsibilities for now. The spin: the entrepreneurial Jung left for personal reasons. No comment from Jung yet.
Jung was brought in early this year as COO to oversee daily operations and integrate/organize the sprawling, young division. FIM’s first acquisition — MySpace for $580 million — often overshadows its second major acquisition of IGN for $650 million.
Rafat adds: The smartest guy in the room had just left the building, and a victim of, you guessed it, fiefdoms. This was only a matter of time, and happens in all industries…the entrenched fiefdoms are hard to tackle, and when egos clash, thing shake up. From what I understand, Jung wasn’t happy with the direction IGN was going, part of it being some of the distribution deals it was making. Then the MySpace shadow was too big. For someone who thought he should have been heading the ship in the first place, or could convince the powers that he was the one to lead it, when that didn’t happen, he had to leave. I would be surprised if couple of the other senior management execs at IGN don’t leave….in either case, Jung’s leaving with a fat packet.
So what will happen next? Where will Jung surface? The rumors I have heard (and these are rumors) is that Facebook has been speaking to him to be the CEO, or at least the number two person…again, there Mark vs Mark game might be too hard to get over…rumors are also that Zuckerberg has locked the VCs into contracts where they can’t bring in anyone as CEO, above him.
Whatever it is, it was a matter of time.
The next drama I am waiting for is Yahoo, where a management shakeout is imminent, and again, this is just my opinion. On the Yahoo Media group side, it will be Lloyd Braun leaving and possibly Vince Broady/Scott Moore stepping in…and then I would expect even the top management shakeout, especially if Yahoo as a company comes into play. One other tantalizing scenario: Jung lands at the Yahoo Media Group….
Of course, this is all just weekend speculation from my side, so take it as such.