Zynga: 12 Executives
If John Schappert’s, former COO of Zynga, departure in August did not surprise you, the exodus of 11 more top-level executives in the following months could end your fun and games. The quits included chief creative officer, studio vice president, chief technical officer, chief marketing and revenue officer, business and marketing executives and more. Zynga, founded in 2007, propelled itself into a social-game giant on the efforts of these people. If you play a social media game (Farmville, Words with Friends, etc…), there is a good chance it’s from Zynga. However, Zynga is also known for unpleasant farming conditions. As other Silicon Valley companies grew, Zynga offered lucrative stock options to retain key employees. The moment they waited for was to cash out following the IPO. With the second quarter earnings weaker than expected, the incentive to stay was gone and a wave of departures, called the “undertow effect”, ensued. Zynga promoted internal staff to replace most vacant positions so far, but at what cost? Current CEO, Mark Pincus, will need to address deep cultural issues that affect employee tenure and performance or risk losing the farm.