November 28, 2011, 12:23 PM —
CEO and founder Mark Pincus, a Harvard Business School graduate who spent time on Wall Street, is cited for "executive overreach" and being "driven to the point of a madman," by analysts quoted in this article. Each Zynga product team, like CityVille and FarmVille, are autonomous and compete with other product teams within the company. Hours are long but there are rewards, such as stock options for the IPO expected before the end of the year. The Mafia Wars team, for example, met a milestone two years ago, and was treated to a free vacation to Las Vegas, including $500 cash each.
Pincus, a "self-confessed data obsessive," tracks games and employees through weekly reports and multiple spreadsheets. The pressure reputation has led to several companies rebuffing Zynga acquisition attempts. One acquired group threatened to walk out unless the group's general manager was replaced. Such stories, Silicon Valley experts say, could lead to tough recruiting and talent retention problems as Zynga expands.
Startups are hard work, get used to it
This pressure stuff comes with the territory in law firms.
Sandy Lewis on nytimes.com
I work at zynga and i can attest to the terrible culture. Planning to quit once I can cash in the IPO. The hours are long and management is just simply bad.
PerplexedHuman on nytimes.com
Insults for Zynga
How bad is it inside Zynga if the New York Times spends this much ink on stories this close together? Or is there something else going on here?