Zynga boss Pincus slams stock threat allegations

Zynga boss Pincus slams stock threat allegations

By Rob Crossley

November 11th 2011 at 10:17AM

Company employees pressured into selling stock, report alleges

Zynga’s CEO Mark Pincus says allegations of internal stock bulling are “based on hearsay and innuendo”.

It was alleged yesterday that some Zynga staff have been pressured into giving up their shares of the company before Zynga goes public.

The Wall Street Journal claimed that at least two staff had hired attorneys, and gave up some of their shares to reach a settlement with the social games giant.

It is fairly common start-up practice to pay top employees in stock options as well as salaries, as part of an effort to hire the best talent without exhausting cash reserves. But Zynga’s forthcoming public listing will likely see the value of those shares skyrocket.

The Wall Street Journal claims that, as a result, some Zynga employees have been bullied into selling their shares to avoid their contract being terminated.

There was no evidence presented in the article to validate the claims.

In an internal email to staff, Zynga founder Pincus said the article “paints our meritocracy in a false and skewed light”.

“The story is based on hearsay and innuendo which is disappointing but is to be expected as we move towards becoming a public company,” he said.

“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.”