Did Zynga ask employees to give back stock options?

What if you were hired by a company who offered up, in addition to a good salary, stock options as well? That sounds like a good deal if that company is successful and then later launches a huge public stock offering. According to a new story at the Wall Street Journal, that's exactly what social game publisher Zynga did to bring in new employees.

But then a funny thing happened. The article claims, via unnamed sources, that Zynga's executive team decided in 2010 that the company had actually given too much out in stock options to some employees. The story claims that some Zynga employees were judged not to be as worthy as others, so the Zynga's leadership team went to those employees and basically told them to give up the stock options that the company had originally offered them. If they didn't, Zynga said they would terminate their employment.

As you might expect that didn't sit well with some of those employees. The story claims that two of them tried to fight this decision with lawyers by their side. In the end they gave up some, but not all, of their originally offered stock options. One of those unnamed employees still works at Zynga.

And the moral of this story? If you offer to sell the house, the camper, and the condo on the beach to someone and then decide later to take back the camper, you should expect some backlash.

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