I Guess That Zynga Acupuncture Ain’t So Bad After All

In November I wrote about a New York Times article trashing Zynga that appeared to have been spoon fed to them by rival Electronic Arts.

I particularly remember the quotes by EA’s head of human resources Gabrielle Toledano, including this one: “I expect a lot of game and tech companies will begin recruiting Zynga’s talent after their equity becomes liquid.” And that ridiculous quote by venture capitalist Roger McNamee saying that Zynga would end up a cautionary tale, without any mention that McNamee is friends and a former business partner with the EA CEO.

Well, Zynga’s public now, and their equity is pretty liquid. But so far I haven’t seen too many departures. Or any. But I did notice Zynga picked up yet another EA executive today. Barry Cottle, formerly EVP of EA Interactive and now EVP Business and Corporate Development at Zynga.

Perusing the Zynga executive team page, the company now appears to have six former EA execs on board. In addition to Cottle, there’s Colleen McCreary, Jeff Karp, John Schappert, Mike Verdu and Steve Chiang. Counting Cottle, six of the eleven members of the Zynga executive team were former EA execs.

This isn’t to pile on EA – they’re still a strong company and a little competition is always good for the soul. But the New York Times shouldn’t be so quick, next time, to believe everything that’s thrown at them. Particularly when it’s a competitor doing the throwing.

Has anyone on the EA executive team not sent their resume to Zynga at this point? That’s a question I’d love to know the answer to.

Image Credit: NY Times artist rendering of Mark Pincus in what sources from EA tell them is his true form. It definitely wasn’t something I just drew.

16 thoughts on “I Guess That Zynga Acupuncture Ain’t So Bad After All

  1. To be fair Roger McNamee is not a VC but a private equity investor. There’s a difference ;-)

  2. harry says:

    we probably wont see departures until the stock price goes above what some options were granted at, or 6 months after being public when employees can cash out rsu’s

  3. Dino says:

    I love how you trash the NYT, then give credit at the bottom for using their image.

    • Michael Arrington says:

      yeah I guess so.

    • … the NYT is always “trashable” in the sense that what its writers produce is a constant, biased flow of garbage. Using their published images and quoting the source is accepted journalistic practice… that doesn’t mean that Mike [or anyone else for that matter] agrees with written articles/opinions.
      Never read the printed version… I visit the online one for a few seconds now and then, and when I do, I immediately identify the author — most of the time, I stop there because I know that what they write is, again, garbage. I really don’t know how they can live with themselves…

  4. You love Zynga – Dont you. But surely the company will implode.

  5. there is still lockout + vesting – but it is normal that some people leave after cashout

  6. Its only a matter of time i think

  7. opened my browser and started to type techcr … backspace bksp bksp; started typing uncrunched.

    it’s a wrap!

  8. The Sims are my favourite game ever, I like EA. And I like some of the Zynga games, I played Cityville and Farmville for awhile. So I don’t have a need to pick one over the other, but I wonder why the EA people would go over to Zynga. What’s better about Zynga for an executive? Isn’t EA a pretty solid company?

    • P.S. I agree with your point that this was spoonfed to the NYT, however. I see a lot of that on the Tech page. In fact, if all you did was “NYT Tech Page Watch” you’d be busy 24/7. I see a lot of the Google stories spoon-fed. And today’s SOPA story, indistinguishable from Mashable or every other Silicon Valley tech blog on this.

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