Unity restructure sees six ironSource co-founders step down

New CEO Jim Whitehurst clears the decks with key ironSource figures moving to non-executive roles while Tomer Bar-Zeev will continue to serve on the Board of Directors

Unity restructure sees six ironSource co-founders step down

SEC filings have revealed that ironSource co-founder turned Unity Grow president Tomer Bar-Zeev has stepped down as part of restructuring plans, remaining as a non-executive to support a transition period for the next six months.

His fellow ironSource co-founders Eyal Milrad, Omer Kaplan, Tamir Carmi, Arnon Harish and Assaf Ben-Ami also stepped down yesterday, in a mutual agreement with Unity that will see them stay on as non-execs for half a year too.

This major shift-up comes 14 months on from Unity and ironSource’s merger, completed in November 2022 to bring more developer tools onto Unity’s platform. Of course, by September 2023, public opinion on Unity soured with its announcement of a Runtime Fee with backdated developer charges, leading to backlash from across the games industry. Certain adjustments were made, but CEO John Riccitiello exited as a result anyway and Jim Whitehurst stepped up.

So, the sweeping step-down of ironSource co-founders isn’t the only exec-level overhaul at Unity in recent times, though whether Bar-Zeev, Milrad, Kaplan, Carmi, Harish and Ben-Ami expected to lose executive status after being acquired is uncertain. Either way the decision is mutual, according to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and Bar-Zeev at least "remains committed to the success of the company and will continue to serve on the company’s Board of Directors".

Then and now

With ironSource since the beginning, Bar-Zeev actually co-founded Foxtab first in 2009. It joined the ironSource family in 2010, with Bar-Zeev becoming co-founder and CEO that August and remaining in the role for over 13 years. He oversaw company growth "from day one" and sought to make ironSource a global company, ultimately going public in 2021 after a valuation of $11.1 billion. International growth and the tools on offer advanced to a point where Unity wanted ownership, and now, with Unity in charge, Bar-Zeev’s time as an executive has come to an end.

An internal Unity email has also been obtained by, stating that the executive changes come as a move to "reduce management layers and improve coordination in the organisation", with Whitehurst wanting to "come together and intentionally think through what type of team we want to be".

But while the ironSource co-founders have stepped down from their leadership roles, Marc Whitten, Felix Thé, Nadav Ashkenazy and Giancarlo Fasolo have stepped up - taking on the mantles of chief product and technology officer for Unity’s Create, SVP of product and technology for Grow, SVP and chief revenue officer for Grow, and SVP of Aura respectively.

"I know this has been a particularly difficult week and a lot to take in," Whitehurst added. "While changes like these are challenging to move through, I believe this reset is essential for us to do now and it’s setting us up to succeed for many years to come. I will continue to keep you updated."

The announcement comes only days after the reveal that Unity will be laying off 1,800 staff members.

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