Zynga Told Its Employees to Give Back Their Stock or Get Fired
When that former employee called Zynga evil, maybe said employee wasn’t so far off with the claim. When Zynga began preparing for its IPO, it felt it gave away too much stock to certain employees, and asked various employees to return some unvested stock or face termination.
CEO Mark Pincus, along with some of his executives, decided which employees would be targeted by the demand of stock return by determining which ones would not deserve the potential windfall if the company went public, similar to the Google chef scenario, which refers to a chef at Google who obtained $20 million worth of stock after the company went public.
After Pincus and co. picked out which employees they felt deserved to return some stock and gave the news, The Wall Street Journal reports that at least one current employee and one former employee weren’t particularly thrilled and hired attorney that helped them reach a settlement which had them give up some stock, but not the full amount.
Zynga officials felt that though their demanding of stock might be met with criticism, they feel the having the unvested shares could attract more talent to the company using the promise of stock, which is somewhat amusing, because they set the precedent for taking it back from employees.