Founder Anu Shukla will be replaced by George Garrick, an experienced executive, formerly the CEO of Mochi Media, Wine.com, Jingle Networks, and Flycast Communications.
Anu founded the company in 2007 and grew it to one of the leading companies that offers advertisement networks for social network applications and virtual goods providers.
But she’s leaving Offerpal as the startup faces accusation that it profits too much from lead-generation scams that trick users into paying for goods and services they don’t want.
Those accusations boiled over at last week’s at the Virtual Goods Summit.
There, TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington confronted Anu, telling her “no good that comes out of [Offerpal’s business], ever.”
Michael Arrington: You look at the downward spiral into hell that both these apps are.You got two types of users. One is the clueless user, a teenager or younger, who is using their cell phone or their parent’s cell phone filling out a survey like, A You A Moron?, filling out a four page survey and you use your parents phone or your own phone and end up with a $10 subscription plan for absolutely nothing in return. And you have useres like that, that I think, are flat out being duped.
Then on the other hand you have the professional users that have to learned to game system so much that they get the Netflix, they take Netflix offer over and over again. And you guys extend those offers so they take it, cancel, take it, cancel, ripping off legitimate advertisers on the other end and driving them out of business. It just seems to me there’s no good that comes out of this ever. And Facebook is letting it happen. And the only reason they’re letting it happen, that they’re faciliating this kind of scam, is they’re getting a cut. Cause guys like Zynga are spending over $50 million a year in advertising at Facebook. They’re getting a huge cut of this revenue cause Zynga gets all this revenue from you and spends it on advertisers. My question is why are we not talking about this more? I certainly will talk about it more.
Anu responed “I can tell you categorically that [Michael’s] insights are shit, double shit, and bullshit.”
Anu said that Offerpal, in its two-year operating history with over 160 million users, only experienced a very tiny percentage of users complaining about being scammed.
Facebook, MySpace, Zynga, and other major players in social network apps in the past week have publicly announced their refusal to use lucrative but scammy lead-generation offers and other similar marketing tactics.
Correction: An earlier version of this post said Anu will be leaving the company. That is not correct.