Earlier today a report first posted in the Wall Street Journal said that Zynga executives threatened to fire some of its employees if they didn't give back their previously granted stock options in the company. As you might expect that got a lot of people upset. Now the CNN/Fortune web site has posted a hastily written email from Zynga's CEO Mark Pincus that was sent out internally to company employees.
In the email Pincus claims that the Wall Street Journal story "... is based on hearsay and innuendo which is disappointing but is to be expected as we move towards becoming a public company." He added, "We have nothing to hide in our past and present policies and I am proud of the ethical and fair way that we've built this company. As many of you have heard me say -- we're building a house that we want to live in."
Legally Pincus could not speak publicly about this story since Zynga is currently in its "quiet period" before the company launches its public stock offering. The IPO is expected to launch before the end of the year, possibly before the end of November. However, this internal email to employees was clearly sent out to calm the fears of the current Zynga team members. There's certainly a lot of pressure on the company before the IPO launch which could allow Zynga to raise as much as $1 billion.