Zynga CEO one of Bloomberg's 'worst CEOs of 2012'

Dartmouth College business school professor chooses five worst top executives in past year, naming Mark Pincus to the list.

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus is one of the "worst CEOs of 2012," according to Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business professor Sydney Finkelstein. His list of five worst top executives was published at Bloomberg recently, and provides multiple reasons as to why Pincus came up short in 2012.

Finkelstein said Pincus made some "rookie mistakes" in 2012, including depending too heavily on Facebook for revenue. Additionally, Finkelstein cited Pincus unloading 16 million Zynga shares as a reason to believe he may not have much confidence in the company moving forward. A Zynga representative declined to comment.

The other four CEOs named to the list were Best Buy's Brian Dunn, Chesapeake Bay's top executive Aubrey McClendon, Avon's Andrea Jung, and Bankia executive Rodrigo Rata.

Zynga shares have tanked this year. After peaking in March at around $15, the company's per-share value as of today stands at $2.45, a dip of more than 80 percent. Zynga also faces a high-profile lawsuit from Electronic Arts over The Ville and has seen numerous top management defections in the past year.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

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Discussion

1 comments
Aragorn823
Aragorn823

Since I think Zynga sucks (Said it many times while playing those stupid games).. I think Mark Pincus sucks~!! I don't care if he goes bankrupt to be honest.. I'd gone back to my 3D REAL games now lol...

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

Pincus performance as a CEO not withstanding or how his business decisions effected his company- I feel the model of his business just simply does not work. 

 

When all the business news was hyped over Zynga these last few years I just did not see how a business like it could succeed over any amount of time. 

- Free to play games draw a certain audience (money is only made on that flavor of the week game)

- Games with adds- Really people unless your another game or a movie preview add no one pays any attention. (so a steady stream of money is not guranteed)

- Zynga has too much dependence on Facebook, while facebook does fine and has been a great product, like all social sites, it is affected alot by what is hot or popular at a moment in time. 

 

--- But the biggest problem with a company like Zynga and Pincus is that they do not get gamers- they simply do not understand how gamers spend their money. You can entice a gamer all day long with a free game, but as soon as you ask them to pay money, you better have a damn good game to back it up. If you make a gamer happy with a purchase - they will buy a new version of that game whether it sucks or not. and vice versa. 

The idea of micro transactions for Zynga games just does not make since to me over the long term. Yeah some school girl or granny may buy some crap for their 'ville', but if they are burnt or disappointed you can bet on not ever seeing long term money. Even if they were happy with there purchase, many will move on to the next flavor of the week.

I have no idea how they thought true gamers would pay money year after year for browser, mini, games. 

 

I think CEOs see numbers like millions of people on a website or playing a 'ville' game, and automatically think it will be the next Ebay, Google, Facebook- but yet have not idea or Plan on how to turn a profit on customers they just do not understand. 

tgwolf
tgwolf

DON'T WORRY, guys, and don't shed a tear, Bloomberg is out of his mind. He wears his political bias on his sleeve and it is eating through his arm.

Psycold
Psycold

Never started playing browser games and never will. 

mutley89
mutley89

Who exactly gives a monkey nut about this? Don't care about the company don't care about the man. The sooner they disappear the better really.

shingui5
shingui5

you know what's depressing though?

if this loser quits/gets fired/the company fails because of him. Chances are he'll walk away a rich man, with a hefty pension package, while hundreds of people are left without jobs.

 

yeay capitalism? 

jhcho2
jhcho2

And that's Karma for Mark Pincus. There was a time when he thought he was all high and mighty when Farmville was doing good. He thought he knew what the gaming industry is all about.

HADES2001
HADES2001

Whell all they do is copy games and make shitty versions of that, so i hope theyr shares reach 0.00 and they just quit

Karlinel
Karlinel

Even despising Zynga's policies, I find it hard to believe he is at the same level of Rodrigo Rato (former minister of finances in Spain, now CEO of a bank investigated for cooking books for around 11bn euro)

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

I'm sure it has NOTHING to with the ferociously terrible and extremely stupid games they make...

supa_badman
supa_badman

And people said casual gaming is the future

 

 

pssh-ahh I say

soulless4now
soulless4now

Not surprised. Still waiting for the inevitable. 

Kevin75
Kevin75

Pump and Dump Stock Scam seriously look it up.

 

He was a moron to agree to it and now his company is suffering.

3v1LR0n1N
3v1LR0n1N

no surprise here..... especially with the shameless ripoffs they made my wife even shown me via facebook specifically the sims social rip off.

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

Zynga in general... Leave and never come back u money hungry game stealer's!

marty2004
marty2004

What is really sad is when a bad CEOs f$)&@&$ks up, he usually loses some of his money, but keeps a lot of it....on the other hand the poor employees of the company usually loose a lot of money if not their jobs.

Sampawende
Sampawende

I dont know....

At the end of the day he got 16M$ in his bank account while I a barely have 900$.

How I wish to be as bad as him....

Takeno456
Takeno456

I had a feeling this day would come and I feel like it is a just reward. Pay to win on the scale that Zynga used was in my opinion just a matter of time before people realized it was crap.

advancedcaveman
advancedcaveman

Who's really worse here? This guy and his company or the millions of fucking mongoloids who actually spend money on facebook games?

bmart970
bmart970

That's what ya get when all your company does is try to rip people off. Just listen to this real money gambling stuff. It's completely ridiculous and immoral.

BravoOneActual
BravoOneActual

It's gonna be awesome when he has to sell his private Mediterranean island, his 200 acre estate-vineyard in southern France and he's bought out for a shamefully low nine-figure sum.

 

I love it when bad CEO's finally get theirs.

esqueejy
esqueejy

What I wouldn't do to see the death of EA....like karmic ambrosia nom nom nom nom nom.....

victorlamy
victorlamy

zynga is a fad. all of those shit die so they must've seen it coming

Dasim64
Dasim64

Zynga, sucking the life out of gaming since 2007.

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

Yep.  Cos if you develop games for iOS you're instantly a winner apparently.

 

Or not.

vault-boy
vault-boy

Both Zynga and EA's shares are way down? Sweet! Maybe now they will both tank. 

baxwam
baxwam

ah that Picture That shit eating Grin

Big_Pecks
Big_Pecks

It may sound horrible because people would lose their jobs, but I wouldn't mind seeing Zynga go down.

chatphon
chatphon

not sure if he worst than EA or Activision ? but equally seem reasonable at a time.

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

Was this a surprise to anyone?!?!?!?!?

SolidTy
SolidTy

Zynga is just a parasitic company that lucked out on some fads.

decoy1978
decoy1978

Zynga dies by the end of 2013... A business that solely relies on FB to generate income is a recipe for disaster. FB interest in gaming has peaked say a year ago. Now its just massive spam, requests, invites, notifications, etc. It got to the point where its more work to clear up ones FB than actually enjoying reading/stalking ones ex's, friends, family, etc.

 

Personally, I wouldn't miss this company, their contribution to gaming history would be Farmville and plagiarizing other video game companies. 

nurnberg
nurnberg

In fact, many of the worst CEOs are greedy SOBs who do not care at all about their company, and who just use the company as a way to personally become rich.  Sinking the whole company in the process and having thousands of people lose their jobs is fair game to them.

nurnberg
nurnberg

That guy might be a terrible CEO, but a good businessman.  He probably doesn't give a damn about Zynga and their employees.  He overhyped Zynga to insane levels, then made the company public at the peak of the fad, then sold a ton of shares to become rich.  Who cares if Zynga goes bankrupt?  This guy will be laughing all the way to the bank.

asapco
asapco

 @shingui5 Looks like the company is failing because he's there.  If he quits/gets fired, Zynga might actually have a chance.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@jhcho2 At $1.8 billion worth, can you blame him for thinking that? In a time when Minecraft "does it right" and his estimated worth is $40 million, you have to shake your head at the casuals who made it possible for Zynga to farm them to hell and back for doing nothing other than spam their friends.

nurnberg
nurnberg

 @Sampawende 16 millions?  He probably have several hundreds of millions in his bank account.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

 @BravoOneActual He already sold 16 million shares (for more than it's worth).  That money is now his, even if Zynga goes bankrupt.

the_requiem
the_requiem

 @BravoOneActual Errmmm... when have the big bad CEOs finally got theirs? I can't remember. All they get is the golden handshakes.

Evilbunz
Evilbunz

 @BravoOneActual you know 9 figures is a lot of money right and you can buy private islands / vineyards for that much. 

 

And he doesn't have to sell anything because he also sits on the board of facebook and holds one of the biggest patents in the tech industry.

Geminon
Geminon

@esqueejy EA is one of the only large dev houses still allowing their companies to try new things in games... your comment is ridiculous. madden doesnt innovate because it is clear that the people that buy those games dont require innovation. all most football fans want is a roster update and more realistic gameplay... which is exactly what they get each year. EA has had dozens of games that have gone in new and interesting directions over the last 5 years. that is far more than i can say about activision/blizzard...Deadspace is probably the BEST survival horror series to come out since silent hill, Kingdoms of Amalur did some interesting things with an MMO style world and fast combat in an RPG, Mirrors Edge was the best first person platformer to ever come out, SWTOR, while fail in most areas, showed that an MMO can have a very good storyline instead of just grindy levels.

nurnberg
nurnberg

 @vault-boy You are a bit crazy if you compare EA to the cesspool of filth called Zynga.  EA releases many good games.

baxwam
baxwam

Of the zynga CEO