Zynga Hands Out Stock Options to Retain Staff Amid Languishing Share Price (Report)

Mark Pincus - Zynga - H 2012

The unprecedented move at the social gaming firm comes following an earnings report that has dragged the stock 70 percent below its IPO price.

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus has issued stock options to all full-time employees of the social gaming firm to retain talent amid a declining stock price, Bloomberg News reported. 

The unprecedented move by Zynga, best known for such Facebook games as CityVille and Mafia Wars, comes at a time that sees its stock trading about 70 percent below its IPO price in December. The news also comes about two weeks after Zynga reported quarterly financials that disappointed Wall Street and sent its stock price into its latest tailspin.

STORY: Analysts Cut Zynga Stock Ratings

That also led COO John Schappert to resign as he was in part blamed for the weak results and lost some of his duties. 

Bloomberg said stock options were given to all full-time Zynga workers shortly after its earnings report on July 25. The company has routinely handed options and cash bonuses to employees each quarter, but this was the first time equity awards were given to all employees as Pincus looks to prevent a talent exodus, it said.

Many employees who got stock units before the IPO have seen their value diminished. Zynga's stock on Thursday closed at $3.01, giving the company a market value of $2.29 billion.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

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