Trip Hawkins, an entrepreneur whose place in game history is secure, has stepped down as CEO of Digital Chocolate, the social game publisher he founded eight years ago.

He announced the move in a blog post that also said Digital Chocolate is “narrowing its focus,” adding that he will be continuing with the company in a consulting and advisory relationship.

In his post, Hawkins noted that today (May 28) marks the 30th anniversary of the day he formally incorporated Electronic Arts, the company he left Apple to found.

According to TechCrunch, Digital Chocolate president Marc Metis will serve as interim CEO. Additionally, the company is laying off up to 180 people across the company’s offices in San Mateo, Calif., Russia and India.

Digital Chocolate is probably best known for Galaxy Life (pictured), which AppData lists as having 1.7 million monthly average users. Overall the company ranks at number 61, with a total 6.3 million MAUs.

Related links:

Digital Chocolate – Trip’s Blog

AppData – Digital Chocolate

TechCrunch – Digital Chocolate Downsizing? Founder Trip Hawkins Out As CEO; Reports Of Layoffs, Marc Metis As Interim CEO

Gamasutra – Trip Hawkins steps down as Digital Chocolate CEO amidst layoff reports

Joystiq – Trip Hawkins steps down as Digital Chocolate CEO, layoffs reported