Occupy Farmville

Posted: November 16, 2011 in Current Events, Entertainment, Personal Whining

Here’s one for the Facebook crowd.

Zynga, the makers of Farmville and Cityville, offered new employees stock options in the company in order to attract promising talent.  Now, as the company is successful and the stock is about to go public, it is demanding that some employees give back their stock or be fired.  On the basis of some kind of merit system, some employees have been allowed to keep all or part of their stock options, however others have been deemed unworthy by some standards controlled by the company management.

While I would have no problem with a company offering stock options on the basis of merit, what Zynga is doing seems to me to be a violation of contractual expectations.  If you joined a company, maybe quitting another job or otherwise changing your life, with the expectation of receiving stock options as an incentive, you would be justified in feeling cheated when asked to give them back, -regardless of any judgement of your employment record by the company, unless said evaluation was specified as a condition of receiving the incentive in the first place.

Because the company had not yet gone public, the company can try to do this.  Had the company gone public, as it plans to do at the end of November, the stocks become a legal tender and cannot be revoked.  So Zynga seems to be trying to cheat their employees on a technicality.  I’m not sure I’d by stock in this company, being afraid that they might send somebody around to ask for them back afterward.  This is the kind of blatant dishonesty and manipulation by corporations which requires either government or public intervention.

This, I would propose, is a perfect rationale for people show their displeasure with the company’s ethics by Occupying Farmville.  Since I’ve always deemed the game as beneath my notice, I’m not sure how one would do this.  Any ideas?

  1. Dianna says:

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