"[He] felt terrible about what was happening; he felt the turmoil."
-- Apple director Bill Campbell recounting a September meeting with a "discouraged" Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, as part of a new Wall Street Journal report.
Zynga's struggles are well-documented: A December 2011 IPO that went bust, layoffs, executive departures, low employee morale Facebook games that aren't attracting as many players as they used to and being caught flat-footed in the mobile game sector.
Campbell, also the chairman of Intuit and known for coaching Silicon Valley executives, was called in by venture capital firm and Zynga investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Wall Street Journal's report, "based on interviews with more than two dozen current and former Zynga employees and investors," says the embattled CEO has previously worked with outside consultants to improve his management skills, and is making moves to delegate more major responsibilities to his staff.
Apparently, the executive coaching is starting to pay off, as Campbell said Pincus is learning better communication skills with his employees. At a recent meeting, Pincus didn't attempt to take over the entire conversation. Campbell said, "I told him you can't take all the air out of the room."