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As Zynga continues to struggle, CEO Don Mattrick earns $57.8M
As Zynga continues to struggle, CEO Don Mattrick earns $57.8M
June 13, 2014 | By Mike Rose

Newsbrief: Zynga's shares have fallen by more than 21 percent in the last six months, although it wouldn't appear that the social game company's executives are feeling the strain too much.

As part of an annual shareholder meeting this week, and as reported by CNBC, Zynga CEO Don Mattrick earned a total of $57.8 million at Zynga this year.

Mattrick admitted earlier this month that the company has lost its way and missed out on even the most obvious opportunities. Now he's attempting to steer it toward being a mobile-first competitor with the upstarts that have, of late, been trouncing it in the market.

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Ben Oakley
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Yeah...there is something wrong with this. Good to know the boys club takes care of them.

Nick DeCastro
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Rob Wright
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I'm am 100 percent against regulating CEO pay of public companies. However....WTF? How can shareholders and board members let this happen? This presents a huge problem for the industry and public companies in general. Put yourself in the position of a Zynga shareholder -- you see something like this and you're upset, maybe even outright disgusted, because the company's stock price and revenue are declining. But do you sell off your stock in protest? Maybe, but then you're potentially taking a big loss, depending on when you bought in. I think it's much more likely for shareholders to complain about this sort of thing but take no real action because they're hoping and praying the stock rebounds.

TC Weidner
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Whats the over /under he will still be with the company in two to three years? Most suits these days, jump in, fire some people, play with the accounting, get paid, and leave. Its all about them, never the company, and never the company well being 5,10, 20 years down the line, hell they'll either be 2 more jobs removed, or comfortably retired on some board some where by that time.

It amazes me the money these guys make, I've met enough suits to know for a fact that none of them are worth it, but yet they still manage to make some believe they are. Chasing short term stock blips, that is all public companies do anymore, its a shame. The entire pay structure needs to be gutted, but then that will never happen because none of this is about fairness, or long term thinking. Get in, get paid, get out.

Justin Kovac
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From the article
Base Salaray: 1m (eligible for bonus of 2-4m)
Signing bonus: 5m
Restricted Stock Grants: 8.92m
Inducement grant of 1.785m restricted stock grants and option to purchase 7.357m shares, class A.

They gave him a big sign on bonus and a lot of stock grants that was not tied to performance. Like giving NFL playing a huge guarantee. Why this culture is the norm for executives is beyond me. The board is full of past and current executives. I fail to see how it is good business to front load a signing that high. Will no other person take the job if 80% of the earnings is based on performance? Are they not able to get by on 1m salary?

Doug Poston
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"Cost to charter a Gulfstream V for a weekend trip from New York City to San Francisco: $106,711.17" - ( )

You can burn a million quickly living an upper-class lifestyle.

Mike Griffin
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Hey guys, at least Don is going to be okay.

Sure, he makes enough dosh to feed, dress, medicate and educate several third-world villages, but Don needs at least $50m to be able to think clearly about the future of the company. A penny less, and Don just wouldn't be able to see the big picture. Clarity via cash, right? It's a burden he has to bear.

Dane MacMahon
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Somewhere my father-in-law is yelling "communist!"

I agree with you 100% though.

Ruthaniel van-den-Naar
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Problem is that suits hire other suits and there are lots of artifical layear between them and small shareholders.
In rude way, if you shareholder has 51% of shares, he could do everything and smaller shareholders realy dont matter.

David Serrano
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Politicians could (and should) force corporations to self regulate executive compensation by directly linking corporate tax rates to the ratio of CEO - board member pay to worker pay. So the lower the ratio, the lower the tax rate. The higher the ratio, the higher the tax rate. The fiduciary duty of CEO's and senior executives would then obligate them to pay themselves far less while paying the average worker far more.

Alan Barton
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@"Politicians could (and should)"

Good luck with that. When Politicians leave politics, they often become executives (in various industries)..

So Politicians won't change anything. They profit too much from becoming an executives.

So even if you were to ask Politicians to their faces, they would say oh we need to look into that, then they will delay for years. They will procrastinate with endless meetings and plans to discuss some more etc.., then finally they wait until some other big news hits, then they will leak a watered down report that says in many thousands of pages how the new rules will work, (which the media isn't reading, as they have no time and they are distracted by the big news event) and then you will find out years later, the new plan included a few hundred new loop hole clause ways to get around the new rules, under various conditions and so the game goes on.

Then the next government gets in and spends more years talking about how they will look into it, and so it goes on.

In short, nothing will change.

Politics (in every country) is basically entirely Passive Aggressive which is essentially obstructing what they are told to do whilst pretending they will do something about it. That is the core behaviour of politics. (You also find this kind of person in office politics situations).

Ken Love
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"... and they still produce more garbage than the city of San Francisco."

Gary LaRochelle
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San Francisco actually has a very good recycling program.

OOOPs, so does Zynga.

Ken Love
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Zach Grant
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1. Drive the Xbox launch into the ground with terrible anti-consumer features, non-game focus, and mixed messaging
2. Jump off the burning ship to the next company and make $50 million while driving their stock price into the ground
3. ....?
4. Profit!

Alan Barton
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@"Zynga CEO Don Mattrick earned a total of $57.8 million at Zynga this year."

With an income of $57.8M he can easily save $50M in a year.
(Assuming usual corporate tax rates plus a few million for cost of living expenses).

So I would like to ask Zynga's creative staff how much they can save per year?, especially after their cost of living expenses have been deducted?

I bet the majority of the staff can't save even just 5k in a year. Many won't be able to save anything in a year, what with cost of living like rent etc.., yet their boss gets to save about 50M a year.

Yet without the creative staff, Zynga would have no products to sell. The boss would earn nothing.

So I wonder how the boss tries to justify his ridiculous share of the profits?

Frankly the CEO really is taking the piss. $50M+ is utterly taking the piss! There is no justification for taking so much profit.

So I wonder, how much greed at the expense of the staff is too much?

I do wonder at what point the creative staff say no more, and go off and create their own products?

Its a wonder all the creative staff don't just walk out the Zynga over the next few months, after hearing this news.

Michiel Hendriks
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Creative people in Zynga? You mean the Mattrick and his friends right? Because the only creative process happening in Zynga appears to be enrichment of Mattrick and friends.

Alan Barton
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Someone is still making games in Zynga? They can't all be exec's left in the company. :) ... but anyway, you get my point about their enrichment.

Gary LaRochelle
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Not here to defend Mattrick but when he joined Zynga, their stock was in the low $2 range. Last March it was trading in the high $5 range. So if you bought Zynga stock last year when he joined, you could have doubled your money. The increase was due to the announcement that Zynga was going to get serious about on-line gambling (although, they still seem very wishy-washy about on-line gambling).

But Zynga stock is now (as of yesterday) trading in the very low $3 range. If you bought stock during the initial IPO (or since March), you're still screwed.

He did fire over 800 employees during the last year to clear away the useless people (hopefully most the metric people). This probably helped the stock price for a while.

Would I buy stock in Zynga? Hell no.

Bruno Xavier
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Zynga bleeding... I love it.

Maria Jayne
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Using the term "earned" loosely I see.

William Johnson
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Conspiracy theory time.

Maybe this is another Nokia. Microsoft guy becomes CEO, ruins the company and gets bought out by Microsoft for pennies, and then the CEO returns to the mothership and get a nice new high position? Time will tell...

Though, to be fair, Zynga was doing poorly before Mattrick. So I don't know what he could really have done to change course for the sinking ship anyway.

John Wallace
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60,000,000$ / 2,000 employees = 30,000$

30,000$ can buy you time to get a new job right?

Saurian Dash
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I'm always fascinated by the way these people "fail upwards". I just don't get how it works, but I wish I did!