Friday, November 16, 2012

Zynga's Mobile Woes

It is like you spent your prime learning Newton's theory of gravity, then someone, or something, comes along and says you need to be learning the Theory Of Relativity. That is how mobile is. I guess "getting" mobile is not easy.

Has Zynga Faced A Paradigm Shift?
Zynga: Could It Reinvent Itself?
Zynga Recipe
Zynga Morale
Zynga And Mobile
Zynga Fixes
Zynga Getting Hammered

Behind Mark Pincus's Bid to Save Zynga
Mr. Campbell, a technology veteran who has coached Silicon Valley CEOs such as Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt, had been called in by Zynga investor and venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to advise Mr. Pincus as the social games company's stock plunged and some of its online games lost traction. Some Kleiner Perkins partners warned Mr. Campbell that he might not make much progress. .......... Pincus was open to advice. Mr. Pincus "was discouraged" ...... He "felt terrible about what was happening; he felt the turmoil." ...... The 46-year-old CEO has remained outwardly positive while Zynga's troubles have played out publicly over the past few months. ..... He was grappling with internal strife, including executive defections and confrontations with employees. ....... the CEO, who owns 50.2% of Zynga's voting control and has previously worked with outside consultants to improve his management skills, is trying to remake himself as its leader by ceding more control to deputies and improving communications. ...... "rapid change in player habits and social technologies have dictated fundamental changes at Zynga. And when businesses change, it's inevitable that some people will choose to leave." ...... Mr. Gordon said Zynga had failed to prioritize mobile development and found that its online games didn't easily translate to smartphones' smaller screens. "Mobile turned out to be more different than anyone expected, in terms of monetization and also user experience" ........ In May, at an off-site meeting in Monterey, Calif., with 100 senior employees, one group led by product director Jonathan Liu confronted Mr. Pincus over morale. Mr. Liu said he told Mr. Pincus that Zynga needed a clear strategic vision. ...... Mr. Liu, who added that he was "almost yelling" at Mr. Pincus at the meeting. .... and reorganized the mobile division so that it was integrated into every gaming studio and not a stand-alone unit. He also pushed harder into new businesses, like real-money gambling. ..... also filled his calendar with product meetings ..... switched his main phone from a BlackBerry to iPhone ..... Employee departures became rote ...... When Zynga notified employees of their extra equity, many received just several hundred options spread across a multiyear vesting schedule, while others got a larger amount. Some employees asked if they could refuse the grant, which they viewed as an insult and a pittance ...... Pincus has focused on improving his communication skills ........ "Project Whistle," a program to connect top executives with Zynga employees. The group has run more than 30 meetings over the last two months where executives discuss Zynga's strategy and answer questions from the crowd. ..... delegation skills. Mr. Pincus has been known for dominating discussions and focusing on details such as the font choice or color scheme of games
Zynga's CEO Almost Broke Down In Tears Over Company's Downfall
employees berating him about the company's lack of a strategic vision and poorly thought-out schemes to boost morale
Now David Ko Is Essentially Running Zynga
David Ko, an executive who has championed Zynga's push into mobile and transformation of its Facebook-oriented franchises like FarmVille and Mafia Wars into multiplatform gaming experiences that cross both Web and mobile, has gotten another promotion in the process...... the troubled maker of social games shuffles management every few months, as it tries to adapt the company to a rapidly changing world where mobile rules..... Ko's been a key part of that transformation, pushing Zynga to buy Newtoy, the maker of Words With Friends, and OMGPOP, the maker of Draw Something...... Ko now oversees Zynga's strategic planning, international expansion, and infrastructure........ Ko also has oversight for all of Zynga's game development, with Zynga's top game-development executive, Steve Chiang, reporting to him. Chiang and Ko had previously shared oversight for Zynga's studios, with both reporting to Pincus. ..... Steve Chiang is now Zynga's president of games, overseeing all studios and reporting to Ko
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