Zynga CEO Displeased with WSJ Report

November 11, 2011 -

An internal memo obtained by Fortune's Term Sheet reveals that Zynga CEO Mark Pincus is very displeased with a Wall Street Journal report that says the company bullied employee stock holders because they gave them too much stock initially and wanted to add more value to its upcoming initial public offering. Zynga CEO Mark Pincus issued a statement saying that the WSJ story portrays his company in a "false and skewed light."

"The Wall Street Journal posted a story last night...which paints our meritocracy in a false and skewed light," Pincus wrote in the memo. "The story is based on hearsay and innuendo, which is disappointing but is to be expected as we move towards becoming a public company. We have nothing to hide in our past and present policies and I am proud of the ethical and fair way that we've built this company."

As Zynga expanded, Pincus offered new employees stock options instead of higher salaries. This is normal practice for start-ups, but the article, which is based on the accounts of two anonymous sources, claims that Pincus is now demanding the stock back ahead of the company's IPO.

Another story on Fortune's Term Sheet (written by Dan Primack) takes issue with the Wall Street Journal's conclusions. According to Primack, Zynga does not terminate under-performing employees, but re-assigns them to positions elsewhere in the company that might better suit their abilities. Part of this process apparently involves transferring some or all of their unvested stock options to the replacement - vested options are not affected.

"Zynga is a non-unionized startup, where the CEO is well within his rights to simply fire an under-performing employee (and recover unvested options)," Primack wrote. "In fact, that's what happens at most companies. The difference at Zynga is that Pincus seems intent on retaining talent, even if that talent either didn't live up to initial expectations or didn't adequately match up to the changing needs of a fast-growing company. What Zynga did may sound bad on newspaper, but is little more than morally-acceptable business as unusual."

It is rumored that Zynga will launch its IPO after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Source: Gi.biz, C|Net. Thanks to Kamendae for the original story.

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Re: Zynga CEO Displeased with WSJ Report

Ethical and fair are two words that are not to be used in connection with Zynga.

 
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E. Zachary KnightConster, I think that might be a little uncalled for.05/04/2015 - 10:20am
MattsworknameConster, I vet what your saying, but lets not bring up Baltimore, that place had a very bad week.05/03/2015 - 5:48pm
MattsworknameFair enough Infophile, regardless of my own issues with the gaming industry and press, im just sorta tired of the whole GG thing as it is. it just seems pointless now you know?05/03/2015 - 5:46pm
ConsterThe trolls hiding behind GG may be too busy pretending to be looters in Baltimore right now.05/03/2015 - 3:32pm
InfophileWhich is to say, GG isn't people writing articles about GG; it's the swarm of people lashing out. That's still going on, even if not as many articles are being written about it05/03/2015 - 7:32am
InfophileIt's not about the articles, but about the people receiving threats. Found an article from just last week which says Zoe Quinn is still receiving daily threats: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/article/2015/04/28/gamergate/05/03/2015 - 7:31am
Mattsworknameup hating the game industry on a more general level .05/03/2015 - 7:25am
MattsworknameIts funny, you know what i just realized, I love video games, and I hate the industry that has been forged around them. I hate the big name publishers, the press, all that jazz. But I still love gaming. that kinda sucks that I love games and still wind05/03/2015 - 7:25am
MattsworknameIt's like teh whole thing just went quiet.05/03/2015 - 6:28am
MattsworknameInfophile, I haven't really seen much activity either way, other then a few minor articles here or there, its like GG just sorta went dormant. I dont deny that I have some concerns with gaming press and industry, but I followed GG the last few months05/03/2015 - 6:28am
Infophile@Mattsworkname: It's more of a case that many media outlets have lost interest in their usual actions. "GamerGate still viciously harassing Zoe Quinn" isn't exactly news. Even if they are. *puts on sea lion hunting gear* Come at me, GG! I dare ya!05/03/2015 - 4:40am
MattsworknameAs much a I have some of the same concerns GG supposibly crusades against, i was really under the impression GG had sorta gone into dormantcy , it had been kinda quiet the last feww months05/02/2015 - 7:42pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bxcc3SM_KA if you guys haven't seen it, john oliver goes after patent trolls.05/02/2015 - 6:50pm
Matthew Wilsonwhile I dont like the guests, who ever did this is stupid. I can understand not liking GG, but come on.05/02/2015 - 6:17pm
Wonderkarpwell how about that shi.....poop05/02/2015 - 6:07pm
Andrew EisenKotaku caught it. Ran the story an hour ago. http://kotaku.com/gamergate-meetup-evacuated-after-apparent-threat-170176164505/02/2015 - 5:36pm
Wonderkarpevent was treading pretty hardcore on twitter last night. course thats just twitter. I'll agree with you if it does get reported05/02/2015 - 5:25pm
Andrew EisenAwkward wording on my part but "event" was referring to the bomb threat. It's silly to chastise mainstream press for not covering something that happened a mere 12 hours earlier, well after close of business on Friday, at a gathering very few knew about.05/02/2015 - 5:14pm
Wonderkarpthey arent "uppity" over the event not being covered. they are uppity over the harassment/bombthreats not being reported.05/02/2015 - 5:09pm
Andrew EisenWe've known that for quite a while now but I agree, completely cutting the feature is not a good move.05/02/2015 - 3:49pm
 

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