Zynga dismisses claims company forced staff to relinquish pre-IPO shares

'Meritocratic' studio slams WSJ hearsay

Zynga dismisses claims company forced staff to relinquish pre-IPO shares
Zynga has reacted angrily to claims the company has been taking back pre-IPO shares issued to employees, with CEO Mark Pincus writing to staff to dismiss what he believes are baseless claims.

As alleged by the Wall Street Journal, it had been suggested Zynga gave employees the option to either relinquish their shares or face the sack.

However, Pincus criticised the report, describing Zynga as a "meritocracy" built to operate in an "ethical and fair way."

WSJ innuendo

"The Wall Street Journal posted a story last night which paints our meritocracy in a false and skewed light," Pincus stated in his note.

"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 many of you have heard me say - we're building a house that we want to live in."

Zy way or the highway

Fortune, which published the Zynga CEO's letter, argues that, despite the hype, an attempt to renegotiate stock options with staff is not uncommon, comparing it to cutting a shoddy employee's pay.

For Zynga's part, however, Pincus doesn't clarify whether a move in any form has been made to recapture shares from employees in the first place. Instead, he sets about restoring the firm's reputation.

"Being a meritocracy is one of our core values and it's on our walls," he added.

"We believe that every employee deserves the same opportunity to lead. Its not about where or when you enter Zynga its how far you can grow. This is what our culture of levelling up is all about and its one of our coolest features."

Unnamed sources at Reuters claimed that we could expect Zynga's IPO to be filed before November 24.

[source: Fortune]

When Matt was 7 years old he didn't write to Santa like the other little boys and girls. He wrote to Mario. When the rotund plumber replied, Matt's dedication to a life of gaming was established. Like an otaku David Carradine, he wandered the planet until becoming a writer at Pocket Gamer.