Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
July 23, 2014
arrowPress Releases
July 23, 2014
PR Newswire
View All

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Report: Zynga Alters Stock Structure To Give CEO More Voting Power
Report: Zynga Alters Stock Structure To Give CEO More Voting Power
August 26, 2011 | By Mike Rose

August 26, 2011 | By Mike Rose

Social games giant Zynga is changing its stock structure around to give CEO Mark Pincus 70 times more voting power than any other shareholder in the initial public offering.

Zynga's board of directors approved a new three-tier approach for the stock structure, increasing Pincus' shares to 70 votes, up from his original 10, according to documents acquired by financial website Bloomberg.

In comparison, pre-IPO investors will get seven votes for each share, up from the original single vote they were originally allowed. All other public investors will still receive the standard one vote per share.

Lise Buyer, a principal at IPO advisory firm Class V Group, told Bloomberg that the move by Zynga may be in aid of keeping too large a share of the voting power from shareholding staff members.

"Zynga has invented something new," she said, noting that having three tiers of stock is "unprecedented" for the average technology company.

Zynga filed an S-1 with the SEC indicating its desire to issue an initial public stock offering "as soon as is practicable" back in July, with the company estimating aggregate initial sales of $1 billion in class A common stock.

Related Jobs

Disruptive Games
Disruptive Games — Berkeley, California, United States

Disruptive Programmer
Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products — Glendale, California, United States

Contract Game Programmer
Zindagi Games
Zindagi Games — Camarillo, California, United States

Software Engineer
Telltale Games
Telltale Games — San Rafael, California, United States

Core Technology – Client Network Engineer


Aaron San Filippo
profile image
Minor note, but 10 * 70 is 700 :)

Mike Rose
profile image
Hey Aaron,

the 10 figure actually refers to the voting power which Pincus originally had. As mentioned lower in the article: "All other public investors will still receive the standard one vote per share." Hence, each of Pincus' shares are worth 70 times more voting power than each of the standard shares :)


Jeffrey Crenshaw
profile image
Does that mean they cost him 70 times as much? I'm confused, why didn't he just buy (or set aside, since I guess he already owns them) seventy times as many shares?


Is this legal? What value does a share have if those already in power can just decide theirs are more valuable than yours?? I assume this sort of thing can't happen after the IPO?

Joe Wreschnig
profile image
For a private company, stocks can be "worth" - in money, voting power, hamburgers, etc. - whatever the board of directors deems. If the board prices the stocks too high or too inequally, it may scare off investors. On the other hand, it may not; essentially this moves gives Zynga more flexibility in offering stocks without the risks of the shareholders (who presumably do not understand the games industry that well) ousting a board (who presumably do).

To just give Pincus 70x more shares at this late date would devalue the rest of the shares, which is probably not acceptable to investors.

It is however not a normal move, as the article says. Whether the SEC will be happy remains to be seen.

Leo Gura
profile image
Wallstreet is a legalized pyramid scheme. Pump and dump.

Martain Chandler
profile image
July 4th, 2015.