OpenFeint hires new CEO, Jason Citron leaves

It's the end of an era for one of iOS' biggest ventures -- OpenFeint has hired a new CEO, Naoki Aoyagi, which means company founder Jason Citron is leaving the company to head elsewhere.

OpenFeint, you'll remember, has its roots in an iPhone game called Aurora Feint, which Citron developed a few years ago with co-founder Danielle Cassley (who left the company fairly early on). After that early title saw some success, the venture was transformed instead into a free platform for developers to share friends' lists and other social networking features across apps, even before Apple's own Game Center was announced. Despite the introduction of that official service, OpenFeint has remained popular, and has expanded out into Android and elsewhere. The company was bought by Japanese social network GREE earlier this year, and it's from that company that Aoyagi comes (he was the 10th employee), taking over Citron's role. Aoyagi reportedly plans to combine the US operations of both GREE and OpenFeint, so it's unclear what this will all mean for developers using the service now.

As for Citron, he confirms on Twitter that it's "time for something new." He and his team at OpenFeint did an incredible job of building up that company and network piece by piece, so it'll be interesting to see what he takes on next, as well as what OpenFeint ends up becoming without its founder.