Google Inc. said it's shutting Slide, the social-gaming business it bought for about $200 million last year, and that Max Levchin, the chief executive officer of the acquired company, is departing.
"Max has decided to leave Slide and Google to pursue other opportunities, and we wish him the best," Google said in an e- mailed statement. "Most of the team from Slide will remain at Google to work on other opportunities."
The Slide deal reflected Google's effort to make its services more social, to repel a threat from Facebook Inc., the world's largest social-networking service. CEO Larry Page more recently is shifted attention to Google+, a service introduced in June to help users interact online. By the end of last month it had 29 million users, according to ComScore Inc.
Google recently announced plans to buy Libertyville-based Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Several analysts this week issued reports that predicted a sale or a spinoff of the handset and set-top box businesses after Google becomes the official owner. They believe the acquisition by Google, announced last week, was all about the patents and Google may be looking to unload the rest very quickly.
While terms weren't disclosed for the Slide acquisition, the price was about $200 million, two people familiar with the matter said last year. Slide, founded in 2005, raised $50 million from investors that valued the company at more than $500 million, BusinessWeek.com reported in 2008.