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Zynga To Employees: Surrender Pre-IPO Shares Or You're Fired

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the no-trade-backs dept.

The Almighty Buck 554

ardmhacha writes "Zynga seem to think they were overly generous handing out stock to early employees. Fearing a 'Google Chef' situation they are leaning on some employees to hand back their unvested stock or face termination. From the article: 'Zynga's demand for the return of shares could expose the company to employment litigation—and, were the practice to catch on and spread, would erode a central pillar of Silicon Valley culture, in which start-ups with limited cash and a risk of failure dangle the possibility of stock riches in order to lure talent.'"

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554 comments

Pincus (0)

zakkie (170306) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018422)

...is clearly a spelling error.

Re:Pincus (5, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018458)

Coming from a company with stellar ethics like Zynga, what do you expect?

Unfortunately, these slimeballs are smart enough to figure out ways to screw their employees, their customers, and in fact anyone with a dollar in their pocket.

Too bad for the honest hard working startups that are prepared to do the hard yards and get their just rewards. This will definitely have ripples of distrust that permeate deeply.

Re:Pincus (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018596)

Totally true, they have a very strange history, from their funding coming from the Russian mafia, to the events of today.

The place itself is supposedly a real grid to work in, so it is likely all these employees deserve their options. However, management always holds the power in situations like this, and more importantly, the investors that control management. If they are indeed controlled by the Russian mafia, isn't it better that these programmers give up their stock options rather than lose fingers?

Re:Pincus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018668)

Coming from a company with stellar ethics like Zynga, what do you expect?

To be sure, top posting in a thread like this is also unethical.

Re:Pincus (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018708)

Hey AC, top posting is how the game works, if you don't like it, don't play.

Mafia (5, Funny)

jimi1x (1105911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018432)

Is the mafia running this company or something?

Re:Mafia (5, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018448)

I don't see how this is all that different from the way most large American corporations operate these days.

Re:Mafia (5, Insightful)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018568)

I think demanding already paid compensation to be returned is very different from the way most American corporations operate. I've never heard of it before. It's mind boggling, and if I were said employee, I'd definitely quit on the spot.

Re:Mafia (5, Informative)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018594)

Quitting is a bad move. Getting fired is much, much better for your lawsuit.

Re:Mafia (4, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018614)

I wouldn't. I'd tell my lawyer to prepare his largest vault and stand my ground. There are times when suing is the right course of action.

Re:Mafia (5, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018638)

This particular tactic is definitely new, but the entire culture of sociopathic behavior is nothing new to large American corporations. This one has simply found a new way to be total assholes.

Given that they're in California, which is a very employee-friendly state (one of the few I believe where non-competes are unenforceable), hopefully they'll lose their shirts after some newly-fired employees sue their sorry asses.

Re:Mafia (5, Insightful)

wpiman (739077) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018726)

Typically they just issue new shares and dilute current shares; while giving management and investors a number to keep their percentages the same. This is a far more insidious way to screw over the little guy that the old way.

Re:Mafia (5, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018816)

Mod Parent up +5 Sad Truth.

just issue new shares and dilute current shares; while giving management and investors a number to keep their percentages the same.

Similarly, mark Zynga clueless for trying something so boneheaded when the parent's tried and true method accomplishes the same thing, but in a way that has been, sadly, accepted by the establishment for years.

Re:Mafia (4, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018696)

Sadly, it happens. Usually it's in the form of reducing retirement benefits after employees have already put the time in.

Re:Mafia (2, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018632)

Then you're blind.

And if you interpret this as a defense or implicit approval of the behavior of most large American corporations, then you're deaf.

Distinguishing: A lost art of great value.

Re:Mafia (-1, Troll)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018662)

If you think most large American corporations are run by honest people who actually value their employees and wouldn't even think of defrauding them to improve their bottom line (and executive compensation) if they could get away with it cleanly, then you're an idiot.

The only reason we don't see more behavior like this is because it's generally met with large lawsuits where the corporations lose to the abused employees. I imagine the same will happen to Zynga if they actually try firing anyone over this.

Re:Mafia (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018874)

If you think most large American corporations are run by honest people who actually value their employees and wouldn't even think of defrauding them to improve their bottom line (and executive compensation) if they could get away with it cleanly, then you're an idiot.

If someone had asked me "Hey Chris, if you could put words in Grishnakh's mouth, what would you have them say in order to perfectly exemplify your point?" I would have replied with something almost exactly like what you just wrote. It's uncanny.

Even though I flat out told you it was not the case, you still took my statement that most companies are not equally abusive to their employees as this to mean that they are wonderful places that love and support their employees without fail.

You've literally declared your inability to distinguish between anyone who isn't completely trustworthy, unable to even think of defrauding their employees. Well, guess what? In reality, nobody is completely trustworthy, and there are many degrees of untrustworthiness. There are many degrees of contempt for employees. By thinking only in absolutes, you've failed to notice when something is the same in kind but exceptional in degree. This is catastrophic to problem solving, which in the real world requires targeted efforts and nuanced understanding.

Distinguishing: It matters. It seems to be an increasingly lost skill. I guess because "A is not X and B is not X therefore A = B" is nice and easy "logic". But I think it is ruining our discourse and ability to realistically address our problems in this country.

There are more discreet ways to do this (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018642)

Microsoft, for example, just made the granted options worthless for many years.

Re:There are more discreet ways to do this (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018822)

I'm not so sure that it was intentional in that example. Most of the options that will never be in the money were most likely granted before DoJ oversight when there was still belief that the share price would make the options viable. Otherwise, I doubt the employees would have accepted them.

Re:Mafia (5, Informative)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018474)

Yes. Their management is well known for doing all kinds of borderline illegal stuff. Seriously, look up stories about how they got started.

Re:Mafia (5, Interesting)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018646)

Yes. Their management is well known for doing all kinds of borderline illegal stuff. Seriously, look up stories about how they got started.

Not just borderline. I don't know about this mafia control stuff, but I remember their direct pixel for pixel use or art assets from...was it Age of Empires?

Re:Mafia (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018688)

Thanks for that followup, I remembered they had done some actual illegal stuff, but didn't want to make the claim without a reference handy.

Re:Mafia (0)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018494)

They shill an addictive product to millions of suckers legally. No I think they're big tobacco or Eli Lily.

Re:Mafia (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018680)

Clearly not. The Mafia might be a criminal enterprise, but they have always understood that without your word, you're nothing.

Re:Mafia (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018714)

I would actually be fascinated to see some research(probably not practical to carry out, unfortunately) as to which mode of business produces a greater proportion of destructive and sociopathic leadership...

Does a criminal environment, with its, er, vigorous, competition and possibility of advancement through killing people? Or does the rule of law, where smirking and saying "We did nothing illegal" won't get you shot by the people you've just stiffed?

Re:Mafia (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018702)

I think I might be the only one to get the Mafia Wars joke on here....

I would rather.... (5, Insightful)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018438)

.... be fired and get rich (and maybe an employer that respects me), than to be forced to sell the valuable stocks that I personally contributed success to.

In truth, those with pre-IPO stocks are the foundation of the success for the company; what we are seeing is absolute disrespect to those who are responsible for the success.

Re:I would rather.... (5, Insightful)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018482)

From a legal perspective, it seems stupid to approach people and ask them to to surrender their shares. Firing them straight up if they are truly "MIA" as Pincus claims would be justifiable. There's nothing wrong with letting go an employee who doesn't meet expectations. Asking them to surrender their shares, THEN firing them makes your motivations clear.

This simply confirms that Zynga is a company with no morals.

Re:I would rather.... (4, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018564)

I am no lawyer but this sounds like a break in promissary estople. Basically, if someone gives you advice and you make a decision based on that advice and it causes financial harm on yourself you can sue to recover the losses.

They were promised IPO shares and to top it off they acted on it by buying them and taking employment. Now they get to lose them after they took their advice and financial harm because I doubt they would buy them back + they could have worked for someone else who *would* give them pre-IPO.

To top if off you are fired that is a financial loss too, but you were fired because you took a promise of IPOs which you were denied.

A lawyer would be drooling on this. CEOs are assholes and are known to do these things and sleep well at night and not care. The CEO could devalue everyone elses share to $0, but keep his high of course using accounting tricks. That is legal and a better thing to do if you want to be evil and steal. I hate to break it but no company has morals and only look at you as mathmatical functions that bring in money. Your sole existence is to make someone richer in corporation and they only care about money. I hate laywers but here this is good as it would force employers to fullfil their bargins they made when the CEO was a little guy and needed help.

Re:I would rather.... (2)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018584)

What they probably did is figured they'd demand this, get sued, and once the lawsuit got rolling settle for a lesser amount, and walk away with a net profit even considering legal fees even if they didn't get as much back as they initially demanded. What I'm curious about is the vesting requirement; do the employees vest if they're fired?

Re:I would rather.... (4, Interesting)

jeremymiles (725644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018636)

I believe they don't vest if they're fired. So your choice as offered is (a) be fired and lose your stocks, or (b) lose your stocks.

Re:I would rather.... (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018686)

I wonder if the employee shares are greater than 50%? If so they can fire teh CEO outright and replace him.

If it is just 10% they can sit on the board and convince other investors to gang up and fire the CEO as well. A threat of a lawsuit might do the trick.

Re:I would rather.... (2)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018672)

Your premise is basically correct, but the use of the word "advice" was somewhat improper. It's if someone promises you something - for example, if you call a charity and promise to give them $10,000, and they then hire a contractor to build them a new food shelf building, and you then refuse to give them the money, they can sue you under p.e. to force you to follow through with your promise.

Just giving someone advice ("hey, you should think about building a castle in this swamp!") does not mean that someone could then sue you when the castle burns down, falls over, and then sinks.

Re:I would rather.... (5, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018488)

What the CEO who had to work up to 6 whole hours a day in his lavish office with those 2 hour lunches and games of golf shouldn't take the credit. It was his and the upper managements ideas that created the company. Just like all the bank CEOs who work really hard producing things of value we take for granted. They need to be paid for such a hard life and creating all sorts of innovation. Thoughts magically create products and they call come from managers, directors, and CEOs only! Get with the program and when I say work you say minimum wage, you are costing the shareholders money!

Re:I would rather.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018598)

As a current CEO, I totally agree. We put literally entire minutes into our work every day. How dare an early employee who took a very low-paid position at a start-up with zero job security complain when they can't get their dirty little fingers on my, ahem, their promised stocks. Do they honestly believe that contracts are there to be honoured? After all, they've got a much better portfolio to help them get a better job so they should be grateful that they made me and my friends rich, ahem, built the company. And don't worry - when I begin my next venture, I'll remember their performance so they can work for a salary of up to $45k. Oh yes, and a firm promise of stock (hehehehehehe).

Serious point now- I wonder if Zynga are going back to their investors to demand those shares back? Something tells me they wouldn't dare.

Re:I would rather.... (4, Informative)

dlcarrol (712729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018490)

That's a false dichotomy. The choices are (1) give (some of) the UNvested shares back and don't get rich, or (2) get fired, forfeit all of the UNvested shares, and don't get rich. I hope the IPO punishes them for this.

Re:I would rather.... (2)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018516)

No. AFAIK if they don't give ownership of the shares back, they get to see their company ownership grow, even if they are fired.

Re:I would rather.... (2)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018556)

"Mr. Pincus told this employee he had too many unvested shares and had to return a portion of them or Mr. Pincus would fire him. If so, he would lose all of the unvested stock."

From TFA.

Re:I would rather.... (5, Interesting)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018566)

No. AFAIK if they don't give ownership of the shares back, they get to see their company ownership grow, even if they are fired.

That's not how that works. Contracts with unvested stocks always involve, "you must work with the company until such and such date" clauses. They get fired, they lose the stocks.

So yeah, sue the bastards.

Re:I would rather.... (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018774)

Contracts with unvested stocks always involve, "you must work with the company until such and such date" clauses.

It's not that simple. If this were always true, I wouldn't own a seven bedroom house today.

(That said, I've no idea what the Zynga contracts are like.)

Re:I would rather.... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018592)

I just thought of something?

If Zynga gave more than 10% of its shares to employees they can gang up together and fire the CEO too! I would certainly be fired for this if I worked there but I would get everyone together and form a mob outside the CEO's office. Explain that if they fire me and everyone else he will be fired too and we will replace him with a new CEO.

Lets see how he likes having his job threatened by blackmail? A deal is a deal

Re:I would rather.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018832)

I hope the IPO punishes them for this.

Yeah, I always look to the stock market for the righting of moral wrongs.

Re:I would rather.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018500)

They can still dilute your shares to oblivion - you don't really have a say at the board at what they do with your stocks.

Re:I would rather.... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018506)

I think that said "valuable stock" may turn out to be less valuable than you thought - especially with this attitude. These are not the hallmarks of a large, successful company.

Re:I would rather.... (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018544)

In TFA, they stated that employees were told if they were fired they would lose all stocks. So they either could give up their stock and keep their job, or lose both.

Re:I would rather.... (4, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018576)

In TFA, they stated that employees were told if they were fired they would lose all stocks.

I think we'd have to see how that played out in court. But I think if I promise you something as part of a job contract and then threaten to fire you instead of meeting that contract, then you'd have a fine advantage when it comes to suing my pants off.

Also, I wonder if they expected this to become public? Somehow I doubt it.

Re:I would rather.... (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018756)

Oh I agree completely. I'm just pointing out that this is what they told their employees.

Re:I would rather.... (0)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018656)

In TFA, they stated that employees were told if they were fired they would lose all stocks.

No, both articles clearly refer to losing only unvested stock, even if fired.

Re:I would rather.... (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018766)

I stand corrected. What is the difference between unvested stock and normal stock, if I may ask?

Re:I would rather.... (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018838)

What is the difference between unvested stock and normal stock, if I may ask?

Vested stock is stock that you keep if you leave the company. Unvested stock is stock that you lose if you leave.

Usually, on joining a startup company, employees will get a grant of stock (or more likely stock options), with a vesting schedule. Commonly, nothing vests until the first anniversary of starting work at the company, when 25% of the granted stock vest. Then the rest will vest over the remaining 3 years on a monthly basis.

Re:I would rather.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018640)

These are not stocks, they are stock *options*. You can't sell them.

What they do is allow you to purchase company stock at a set price (usually $1) in the future. So, sign with a startup, get 100,000 options. After the IPO, stock is $25. Exercise your options, buy 100,000 shares at $1 each, turn around and sell them at $25 each. A quick $2.4 million profit.

Of course, if your startup never gets to an IPO, or if the stock price never gets over $1, you don't gain a penny (but then you don't lose anything, like you would if you had real stock).

Stock options also become null and void as soon as you are no longer an employee. So, if they fire you, you no longer *have* any options.

Re:I would rather.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018692)

According to TFA the stocks in question haven't vested yet. If they leave the company they lose them.

If it's true, I imagine that many people will be suing for improper dismissal. I would certainly be distancing myself if I worked at that company.

I found it interesting that they referenced the "Google Chef". I hadn't realized the Charlie Ayers walked off with so much money, but the guy was the executive chef at Google (not a cook). Back in the day, Google lunches were famous. This was a big drawing card for attracting talent in the early days of building up Google. Possibly his contribution was worth the compensation.

In any case, why you would be offering stock options to employees that are "Missing In Action" is beyond me. Sounds like they had an amazingly poorly thought out compensation system.

Lesson? (1)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018442)

Wow, let that be a lesson to anyone taking the promise
of stock and options when a company is willing to "give
just about anything" to succeed.

-AI

Re:Lesson? (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018510)

The better lesson is probably not to go to work for people who are well known douche-bags. Seriously, if you couldn't see this kind of thing coming when you went to work for Zynga, you really weren't paying attention.

Re:Lesson? (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018562)

We know that now. Do you think the first people who went to work for them realized it?

Re:Lesson? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018588)

They certainly could have, they had bad history before Zynga, and Google had indeed been invented at the time.

Re:Lesson? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018626)

Every place I worked is filled with douche-bags. Only 1 employer was not and that was a school district whose job was to educate children and not make money. Everyone company is there to make money only.

Still a promise was made and if it were the other way around Zynga would sue and cry foul.

Re:Lesson? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018682)

Zynga has douche-bags on a level that makes national news. Prior to current events, even.

Re:Lesson? (2)

izomiac (815208) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018814)

FTFA:

Most of those aware of Zynga's demands for the return of stock said the effort was designed to replenish the pool of shares that could be awarded to attract new talent.

IMHO, Zynga has a lesson to learn. I highly doubt unvested shares are going to attract very much talent in the future for their company. Or at least among prospects who do the slightest bit of research and have a modicum of common sense.

Fearing the chef. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018454)

Fearing a Google Chef situation?

What... a competent professional working at the company over a long period of time demonstrating a high level of skill, overseeing, directing and training many others, and earning the respect of his colleagues?

Is this kind of thing bad now?

Illegal? But surely still lose lose? (5, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018468)

I can't imagine how an action like this can be legal in terms of anyone wanting to take it to court - surely the employee would win hands down, but I can't also see how it would be beneficial in the long run. Srely if you took your employer to court like this (and assuming you won) and went back to work - surely the culture there after that must be very antagonistic. Wouldn't the employer then be looking for any excuse and going through all the hoops to have that person leave the company anyhow.

The only way I can imagine to pursue this would be to take them to court, win (I assume quite easily) and then start looking for another job as the workplace has become hostile - which sort of leads to where they are going in the first place... "Give it back or you are fired" OR "Ha, I won, now I need to find other work...". It just seems to be a half dozen here and six there.

Re:Illegal? But surely still lose lose? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018522)

You take them to court and as part of the settlement/compensation you get vesting of your unvested options because you cannot return to a hostile work environment.

Re:Illegal? But surely still lose lose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018526)

Yes, but good luck getting another job afterward. Most companies won't hire somebody that sued their previous employer, regardless of the reason.

Re:Illegal? But surely still lose lose? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018528)

I assume Zynga has no plan to follow through. That they hope to win concessions by intimidation, and never bring it to a firing action.

Re:Illegal? But surely still lose lose? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018752)

Have they gone public yet? If not, it strikes me that having outstanding legal suits against them would likely taint their public offering, to the extent that whoever is underwriting their IPO would force them (zynga) to clear up the matter. SInce time would not be on zynga's side, they would have to settle on favorable terms for the ex-employees. There would be a lot of attempts at intimidation, but any employee with the balls to avoid folding would come out OK.

Re:Illegal? But surely still lose lose? (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018852)

To answer your question, no, they are indeed in the predicament you describe.

Not following the Google Chef reference (2)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018492)

Were they really upset about that guy? Sounded like he did top-notch work from the Wikipedia references.

Re:Not following the Google Chef reference (1)

mjperson (160131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018546)

What is this "Google Chef" situation that this story seems to pull up everywhere it is posted. Everything I read about the actual Google chef seems to indicate he was a great guy who did amazing things during the formation of the Google. What's the "situation"?

Re:Not following the Google Chef reference (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018710)

I think it is class prejudice in the modern world. I don't think there is a problem with the chef in Google, but other executives look at a working class man who risked his career with a start-up and received a very large reward and think that should not be right. To them, working people should stay in their class where they belong and not become multi-millionaires regardless of the risk and hard work they took or did.

It sounds to me like those people who give lottery tickets as a gift and then sue the recipient for a share when the tickets turned out to be big winners - because they say they did not mean to give so much to the recipient.

Truly bizarre and illogical in my view.

Re:Not following the Google Chef reference (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018780)

I heard Google employees could ask for any food in their cafe. The Google Chef must be the guy that cooks it all. No wonder he's a great guy putting up with every nerd's random dining requirements.
 

Re:Not following the Google Chef reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018820)

They seem to be implying that being "just the chef" is not a meaningful enough contribution to the success of the company to justify the return on share value. But by most accounts the benefits of working at Google are an important part of retaining good talent, and awesome food is a very important part of those benefits. Hmm...

Charlie is a good guy, I'm pretty sure he left on good terms. I suspect any animosity about what he got comes from people who think cooking good food - not to mention managing 10 cafes and keeping up high food quality - is easy. This article is the first I've heard of the "Google Chef" phenomenon, so now I'm curious if this is really a "thing" or what.

Re:Not following the Google Chef reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018628)

Any C-level executive will look like a damn fool in other C-level executive's eyes if they let a lowly peasant like a chef walk away with millions of dollars; had they been worth their "C" those millions should have ended up in the C-level executive's own pockets, hence the disdain.

The issue with Google is that someone probable misread "Chef" for "Chief" when the stock was handed out (notice that in "Chief" there's only 1 letter difference with "Thief").

Re:Not following the Google Chef reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018722)

whatever, the Chef made 20 but the top level management made 200+, not including page, brin, or schmidt

Dangerous precedent (5, Insightful)

klui (457783) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018524)

Next thing you know, their employees would be asked to pay back portions of their salaries that management thought are undeserved.

So they want to have employees with a grudge? (2)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018550)

They're going to make some of their employees very disgruntled. Their company depends on keeping a bunch of servers running. Am I the only one who sees the potential reliability problem here?

Dont judge without reading TFA carefully (3, Informative)

deecha (410960) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018582)

From TFA, the small minority of employees asked to return the stocks are executives, not engineers, architects or the creative folk.... Most executives don't deserve what they get paid in USA. Most of them just lunch off of the productivity and manipulate for their personal gain. There's a term for that in the nature. It is called a parasite.

He is doing the right thing. So let's not be quick in judging him. ok ?

Re:Dont judge without reading TFA carefully (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018664)

He is doing the right thing. So let's not be quick in judging him. ok ?

Then he shouldn't have promised that to them. It's classic renege on a contract. Doesn't matter if they're parasitic executives or not.

Re:Dont judge without reading TFA carefully (5, Insightful)

bstender (1279452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018734)

So let's not be quick in judging him. ok ?

a quick googling of "zynga ethics" will allow you to make a quick judgement of what we're dealing with here. Pincus is setting new standards in rapacious business practices. This is nothing to shrug off, somehow this guy needs to be spanked.

Re:Dont judge without reading TFA carefully (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018842)

Nope. They may be overpaid swine, but Zynga still has no right to demand they give the money back.

Business ethics demands .... (1)

fsckmnky (2505008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018622)

... that you keep the stock they gave you ... because it's yours damn it. If you are fired because of it ... a 2 step process kicks in: 1. You put your personal belongings ( which looks like a set of backup tapes ) in a box and walk out holding your head high and ... 2. You hire Gloria Alred and claim the CEO sexually abused you. During the discovery part of the court preceedings, instruct the Zynga attorneys to enter their credit card number to receive a .pdf version of the paperwork they requested. It's a win-win-win-win.

Scum..... (1)

InspectorGadget1964 (2439148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018634)

If they gave it it is no longer theirs. Those shares belong to the employers

Re:Scum..... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38018892)

Not if it was given for fraudulent reasons. An example would be theft by deception, a while back I seem to remember a woman pretending to have cancer in order to get gifts, or something along those lines, she was ultimately charged with theft by deception, I don't know where the trial on that one is going to go.

why not... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018788)

just wait for the dude in the parking garage and break his legs with a tire iron while screaming, "Here's your f'ing shares, you bastid!"

good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018812)

"From a legal perspective, it seems stupid to approach people and ask them to to surrender their shares."I agree. [1stbearing.com]

Call for Mr. Maslow, call for Mr. Maslow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018862)

Hahaha, the Silicon Valley Uber Knowledge Workers are starting to get kicked in the balls, just like the low-income poor they like to think they're not.

Welcome to the club, suckers.

Is this really all that strange? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38018888)

Couldn't the employee go through with signing the paperwork to give back the options and continue to work for the rest of his vesting period and then claim that they signed the paperwork to give them back under duress? This way they would have fulfilled their obligation under their original contract and they could fight this in court later.

If the employees are not worth the compensation that they are being given(which includes their options/vesting plan), shouldn't they just be fired and then allowed to negotiate freely with Zynga or any other company for a new compensation package?

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