Zynga CEO near tears over company's dive

Mark Pincus is working hard to keep Zynga from dying

Apple director Bill Campbell has told the Wall Street Journal that Zynga chief executive officer Mark Pincus is “discouraged” over the company's current standing. Campbell met with Pincus at a meeting set up by Zynga investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, in the hopes that the Silicon Valley veteran could help Pincus become a stronger business leader. Campbell told the Wall Street Journal that the Zynga CEO was near tears during the discussion of how to turn around the company.

Zynga's fortunes are way down, with the company recently losing its chief financial officer and treasurer.

“Rapid change in player habits and social technologies have dictated fundamental changes at Zynga. And when businesses change, it's inevitable that some people will choose to leave,” Pincus said to the Wall Street Journal when asked about recent management departures.

With the recent changes in Zynga's management team, Pincus is attempting to transition the company over to a mobile model, offering more control to his executive team in the process. Kleiner Perkins partner and Zynga board member Bing Gordon believes that the company should have focused on mobile development much sooner.

"Mobile turned out to be more different than anyone expected, in terms of monetization and also user experience," he said.

Many changes are recent, so it remains to be seen if Zynga can turn itself around. As of this writing Zynga stock sits at $2.29 per share, a far cry from the $10 IPO earlier this year.

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Latest comments (14)

Matthew Hill Head of Recruitment, Specialmove7 years ago
Many won't know who he is but Bill Campbell is an exceptional individual - a mentor to Steve Jobs, Google's founders and countless others. Also a pretty decent guy judging by this

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Luis Morales Public relations, Med Mercs7 years ago
It's interesting how now a days. The media makes a big deal out of a company (Zynga) that has not have a long trajectory, yet it became a big deal over a short period of time. Zynga is just the result of it's own concept of business...This social media companies need to "innovate" and learn how to monetize their business model. Over time, it's shown that consumers(specially those) who use freebie services, play for free on line. They just throw those games and move on to something else.....What did Zynga get out of that costumer? Data info, on the user habits on-line,how long the person plays on-line,the links they click? Where is the money?
Monetize is the question here.
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Luis Morales Public relations, Med Mercs7 years ago
This is why when you look at companies like Amazon, Microsoft,Apple,Google....They are sitting on barrels of cash, why because they monetize services and make profit out of it. You never hear the Social media companies having all this cash, because their revenues are so low . Over time, you have to charge for all those services.
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Jonathan Knight VP & General Manager, Zynga7 years ago
@Luis... Well, Zynga does still have well over a billion USD in cash. That's kind of a barrel, for a game company.
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Well, lets see some great non FB, mid core games come out of this 1 billion USD. Its quite apparent, the FB platform will account for 1-2% of the casual/social market as time dwindles on. All change!
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Ben Furneaux Principal Designer 7 years ago

"You never hear the Social media companies having all this cash, because their revenues are so low"

Your logic is flawed it also doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Yes, in the past Zynga stock has been very over-inflated (although right now it's probably about right), but it's monetisation strategy does not limit it making "barrels of cash". Another point re: social media companies, Facebook made 2.85B in gross income last year, if trends continue it's set to make well over 4B in 2012. How big is your barrel?
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Steve Nicholls Programmer 7 years ago
Couldn't happen to a nicer company.
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Arthur N7 years ago
The problem is with this guy. Hes one horrible leader and honestly got his company to the top by luck and timing with Facebook. He needs to step down and let someone else take over.
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Hugo Trepanier Senior Game Designer, Ludia7 years ago
This story is obviously fake. Robots don't cry, that's common knowledge.
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Peter Ohlmann Technical Director 7 years ago
I guess he didn't cry when he sold shares worth $200 mio USD earlier this year. Somebody who really believed in the success of his company wouldn't have done it.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D7 years ago
Probably just crying because he's worried about letting Bruce down.
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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises7 years ago
Wow I'm pretty shocked by all of these harsh comments, when really... we should ALL be crying. Without Zynga who would we have to clone everything Maxis created in the 1990s and put on Facebook? No one...
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Eric Leisy VR Production Designer, Nike7 years ago
It is bizarre to see how familiar every Zynga game seems to be. I think I'm going to go play some Sim Ant.
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