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Zynga shelling out $50 million for Don Mattrick
Zynga shelling out $50 million for Don Mattrick
July 3, 2013 | By Kris Ligman

July 3, 2013 | By Kris Ligman
More: Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Don Mattrick may have departed Microsoft failing to endear many to the upcoming Xbox One, but free-to-play giant Zynga is still paying out plenty to retain him as the company's new CEO. Between cash salary, signing bonus and equity, Mattrick stands to gain $50 million U.S. (38M; 32.7M) from the move.

Here is how it breaks down, via Zynga's regulatory 8-K filing [docstoc]:

  • $5M signing bonus
  • $1M annual salary
  • $2M cash bonus
  • $11.3M in Zynga stock (in a make-whole grant valued at $25M total)
  • $5m "inducement" grant of 1,785,714 restricted stock units, vested over several years
  • $10M option to purchase 7,357,143 shares, also vested
  • A 200 to 400 percent yearly cash bonus ($2M to $4M) over base salary, starting in 2014

Mattrick will also be eligible for additional, performance-based inducement grants similar to those paid to other Zynga executives, valued at $7M. He will also receive a (standard) $60,000 payment for legal fee costs, a severance package worth $2M plus twice his target bonus, a further prorated bonus, and accelerated vesting for all his grants.

With much of the package based on equity, a lot of its value will depend on Mattrick's ability to restore Zynga to, or even exceed, its former glory. Stocks rose following the initial announcement, but at least some analysts remain skeptical about Mattrick's long-term effect on the company, even scaling back their revenue projections for the 2013 fiscal year.

Nevertheless, if you had any fear that Mattrick will not be sleeping comfortably in his new digs, worry not. Zynga appears quite confident that their new CEO will ensure no cow goes unclicked.

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Michael Herring
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"their new CEO will ensure no cow goes unclicked."

I love you.

Zach Grant
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CEO pay in the US is disgusting.

Dane MacMahon
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Call me a communist but no one deserves that much money.

Kale Menges
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Especially so when starting at a company that just fired God-knows-how-many employees for sh*ts-n-giggles...

Michael Joseph
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"no one deserves that much money."

Who knows, Mattrick might even agree with you. In the business world at least, it's not what you deserve, it's what you can get.

We don't live in a meritocracy unfortunately.

Dane MacMahon
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Yeah I have a rather rich uncle I've talked to about excess. His basic defense was that it's not about wealth but about competition, and if he leaves money on the table it's a sign of weakness.

I still don't like it.

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For all the people upset, have you ever been in a situation where an employer offered you a salary/payrate and you requested to paid less? I'd bet the answer is no. Shock of the world: this guy isn't that different than you.

Merc Hoffner
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We can't live in a society where pay is linked only to effort, else there would be no financial incentive to ever do something smart. And I believe that it's fair for people to receive ridiculous rewards for ridiculous contributions or genius or leadership or vision etc. So, Issac Newton should deserve a ridiculous payout. Hughes and Ford might deserve ridiculous payouts. Edison, Franklin, maybe even Marconi, Venter, and yes, even Jobs would deserve crazy money. The problem here isn't the crazy money. The problem here is WTF Don Mattrick??!!, combined with WTF he hasn't even started the job.

Crazy rewards for crazy performance. Not crazy promises for what should be expected.

Sean Sang
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I really need to seriously consider a career move to CEO status instead of working in the trenches. I have yet to see the value of these CEO's and executive types bring to our industry with these enormous salaries. Seems like the only things they are capable of is making bad acquisitions, out of touch with reality decisions and cutting staff. Would be nice if the guys in the trenches who actually make the products get just as nice treatment on the way in and on the way out as these guys.

Matt Marshall
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I have to agree. Personally when you are earning THAT much money, you start forgetting who makes you rich in the first place both the gamers and the hard working teams working on the games and hardware. It's a simple yes or no answer to fire hundreds if not thousands of people for 'them' and I'm sure as it may cross their mind occasionally that those 'numbers' have families and skills that could be used all comes down to 'more numbers' the bottom dollar.

Drives me nuts that this kind of thing can go on, when thousands of great ideas go unfunded elsewhere. Not just in games but science, education etc. All the money is going to the wrong places.

But then again, how do you make a working society that doesn't rely on our current one that relies, pretty much solely, on money. And more to the point, how do you make EVERYONE agree with it to make it happen. You really think Mr Don would be happy to give up his 'meagre' salary for the benefit of mankind?

Still, I guess it's not like the numbers governments throw at military. You lose count of the zeroes then!

Kris G
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this sorta disgusts me. especially considering pincus just laid me off a month ago.

Booby K
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Bonuses already decided way before actual performance? If the company gets worse after 1 year does he still get the $2-4 mil yearly bonus?

Seems like some serious desperation by Zynga.

Mattrick already made lots of $$$ when he was at EA. I used to look at the public insider trades he made excercising EA options in the early 2000s (probably an automatic plan). Every quarter I would see his name and the low options execrcise price compared to the current price of the stock.

Mike Griffin
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Geezus. I hope this fellow puts a goodly chunk of that change into worthy charitable donations.
Our concept of value in contemporary corporate hierarchy is so fucked.

David Konkol
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In California, that will buy you at least a loaf of bread.

Maybe two if the store has a sale.

Ramin Shokrizade
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It is hard to imagine any of Zynga's games cost this much ($50M) to make. It seems most of their resources go to user acquisition, analytics, lawyers, and buying buildings. Speaking of which, it is nice that they gave him $60k to get his lawyers set up, but he will probably burn through most (if not all) of that just trying to make sure there are no tricks in his contract. It also seems like that contract is designed to keep him from running, like most of the contracts at Zynga. This creates a "you don't leave until we fire you" sort of environment.

Booby K
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You forgot acquisitions of other companies:

Christian Philippe Guay
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I think someone did not get the message of that conference back in 2004.

Game developers > Business guys & PR

Money should be spent on dev teams and marketing, not CEOs.

Merc Hoffner
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You know that old saying about post-apocalyptic worlds: that CEOs are worthless and plumbers are kings. Someone should make a game out of THAT!

Jean-Michel Vilain
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What's the point???
This is how you motivate someone? Boosting 1 person is really the way to go? It must suck hard to work under someone who gets paid that much.

Bob Charone
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my entire family could retire right now in Hawaii for what one game CEO will make in his first year

Caulder Bradford
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Disgusting. Tell me again why we as developers tolerate showering clowns like Mattrick with gold, while we work for peanuts, in comparison?

But put it this way, if a magical diety told me I could have 50mill, but I'd have to go through life looking like Don Mattrick... I think i'd pass on the 50mill.

Enjoy the coke and hookers Don!