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Zynga CEO Wants To Bring Playtime To The Masses

Publication Date: 
February 02, 2012
National Public Radio - Morning Edition
Aarti Shahani

Fellow at the Rock Center for Corporate Governance Vivek Wadhwa spoke with NPR Morning Edition's Aarti Shahani on Zynga's CEO and his decision to sell Zynga stocks at a fast rate.

Ever harvested crops on FarmVille or laid down a triple-point Q on the Scrabble knockoff Words With Friends? Then you've spent time with Zynga, the largest maker of Facebook games.

Armed with cash and a massive database of user habits, Zynga's CEO Mark Pincus wants to expand the universe of digital game players from sci-fi geeks to soccer moms and their kids.

"When you think of these verbs that make up our Internet experience, there's not many of them," he says. "There's shop, there's search, there's share. I said I think that play can be one of these fundamental things that we do for the rest of our lives."


Months earlier, Pincus made more than $100 million by selling off shares to private investors at a higher price than the public got. Vivek Wadhwa is a business professor at several schools, including Stanford. He criticizes the move.

VIVEK WADHWA: When the CEO starts selling stock even before the company goes public at the rate Mark Pincus has, it sends a message to the employees that it's all about money. This person doesn't believe in his own company.