For boys who like boys who like joysticks!

Archives:

« An Elder Scrolls Retrospective: Arena | Main | Can The 3DS Surpass The DS? »

Zynga CEO Takes It All Back

Gimme_My_Money_First_Draft.jpg

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]

14 Comments

Morally acceptable? Bullhonky. If you have an agreement to pay someone in shares instead of money, that's an agreement, period.

A lot of times execs coming in to a company with that much momentum negotiate contracts that have them vesting much more quickly than a typical employee would vest. High profile candidates understand the volatility of the situation they're about to enter and plan accordingly.

To the current employees, seek legal counsel and don't give up your stock.It was part of your compensation (wages/salary) for your employment, given to you at its fair value at the time issued; which you would have paid income tax on. any appreciation in it's value since being issued to you is your income. In essence they saying that if you were paid 40,000 in yr2010, actually you were only worth $30,000, and you owe them the $10,000 that they had initiatlly paid to you, and which you already paid income tax on.

Mack Pinchon said:

Morally acceptable? Bullhonky. If you have an agreement to pay someone in shares instead of money, that's an agreement, period.

The fact that this is legal is absolutely shameful and is yet another indicator that big business needs further legislative regulation in order to guarantee fairness to the employees.

problem with that is those stock options are currently worthless, they havent matured. If he fires them those options will cease to exist.

JTSpender said:

Oh sweet delicious schadenfreude. It is really no secret in the valley that Zynga is a rather skeezball company, and so really my amount of sympathy for the folks who went to work there is teeny-tiny.

That said, this kind of thing can really not be allowed to let stand. I already don't play any Zynga games, but I'm considering an uber-boycott of defriending anyone on Facebook who does.

And now they want to offer their stock to the public. Let's hope they dont get upset with the public and demand their stock back! I am glad someone got a lawyer and fought this.

Cyrus Klett said:

I got a bonus in a Yard of Gumballs once. Seriously. A tube, one yard long, of large gumballs. But they didn't take it back!

Stacy Hecker said:

The fact that this is legal is absolutely shameful and is yet another indicator that big business needs further legislative regulation in order to guarantee fairness to the employees.

I got a bonus in a Yard of Gumballs once. Seriously. A tube, one yard long, of large gumballs. But they didn't take it back!

The fact that this is legal is absolutely shameful and is yet another indicator that big business needs further legislative regulation in order to guarantee fairness to the employees.

Ralph Car said:

The shame is these were "unvested" shares. Firing them solves the problem of them having time to vest (a termination is always a forfeit of such things).However, the practice is pretty skanky... The one employee who left the company obviously won't have that stock, but I bet they're getting ready to sue for it's value and then some

Randy Marr said:

Wow this is, uh. Pretty assy. I'm officially uninstalling any and all Zynga games from my system and spreading this out. I probably won't do much but I don't want to support, nor do I want anybody I know to support, such blatant douchebaggery.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

Twitter Feed

Recent Comments

Randy Marr on Zynga CEO Takes It All Back: Wow this is, uh. Pretty assy. I'm officially uninstalling any and all Zynga games from my system and spreading this...

Ralph Car on Zynga CEO Takes It All Back: The shame is these were "unvested" shares. Firing them solves the problem of them having time to vest (a termination...

Stephen Thune on Zynga CEO Takes It All Back: The fact that this is legal is absolutely shameful and is yet another indicator that big business needs further legislative...

Kyle Glorioso on Zynga CEO Takes It All Back: I got a bonus in a Yard of Gumballs once. Seriously. A tube, one yard long, of large gumballs. But...

Stacy Hecker on Zynga CEO Takes It All Back: The fact that this is legal is absolutely shameful and is yet another indicator that big business needs further legislative...

GGP Mailing List

Are you gay and working in the games industry? If you are interested in networking with other folks like you within the industry, try joining the Gay Game-Industry Professionals mailing list. Click here for all the details!

Links

The GayGamer Store

  • Help support GayGamer by purchasing your items through our store!

All rights reserved © 2006-2010 FAD Media, Inc.