Aristocrat Leisure's social casino business Big Fish Games has appointed Jeff Karp as its new managing director and president.

Karp is an industry veteran with more than 15 years experience in senior executive roles, having worked for the likes of EA, Zynga and GSN Games.

He is credited for his role in building multi-billion-dollar franchise games, including EA Sports, Words With Friends, Farmville, The Sims franchise, Bingo Bash and GSN Casino.

Karp most recently served as chief executive of Sports Illustrated Play, a youth sports focused digital platform that was acquired by Comcast/NBC earlier this year.

"I am delighted to welcome Jeff Karp to Big Fish," said Aristocrat chief digital and strategy officer Jeff Goldstein. "Jeff's expertise in growing games into global entertainment franchises is unsurpassed. His proven track record and deep experience in the games industry make him the ideal person to drive Big Fish's growth strategy, and ensure the business delivers its full potential."

Big Fish Games was acquired by Aristocrat Leisure in January for $990m from Churchill Downs Inc., adding to Aristocrat's existing social businesses Plarium, Heart of Vegas and Cashman Casino. The acquisition established Aristocrat as the second largest social gaming operator in the world after Playtika.

Commenting on his new role, Karp said: "I am honored to be working with such a creative and talented group, who are focused on enhancing life through exceptional play.

"Big Fish is a content-rich company and its employees are passionate about making great games that bring joy and fun to millions of players around the world. I look forward to working with everyone at Big Fish to deliver our growth plans for the benefit of our players, our people and all our stakeholders."

Shares in Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. (ASX:ALL) closed in Sydney Tuesday unchanged at AUD$30.50 per share, less than 5 per cent below their 52-week high of $32.05 per share set on June 21st.

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