Zynga has an unpleasant reputation for theft, specifically that they rip off existing games in a manner of intellectual dishonesty so brazen that it would make Blizzard-Activision blush, and the CEO Mark Pincus has...a "reputation" of his own. Still, the company has achieved growth and success on a level that many an indie dev would do unsavory things to achieve and has exploded into a billion dollar organization.
Well, Mark is intent on keeping the reputations around himself and his company intact with acts of theft and doucebaggery. According to the Associated Press, as well as Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, Pincus is experiencing "giver's remorse" when he granted substantial stock options to early employees when Zynga was starting up. Now that the company is going to go public with an IPO possibly by the end of the year his response is this: give back the stock options or be fired.
It would seem that Pincus has tired of stealing from other game designers and is now happy to resort to stealing from his own employees, particularly the ones who have been with him from the beginning and have likely been instrumental in his business's success.
Very related: early this year Zynga threatened the city of San Francisco, demanding payroll tax waiver on employee stock option gains or they would shut down their offices and relocate to Silicon Valley. San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee and Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, among others, caved in and gave the company the waiver.
[Image via MLG]