Remember Farmville? That's okay, apparently neither does Wall Street.
Zynga, the company that made the Facebook-based video game about virtually tendin' to animals and land, was the first major name in social media gaming. It capitalized on the Farmville craze by going public at the end of 2011. Within three months, its stock price had ballooned to almost $16 a share, everyone - and literally their mother - was playing Farmvillle, and things were looking great for Zynga.
Since then, not so much.
Zynga faltered in efforts to revive revenue after once leading the market for games played on social media, such as Farmville. Sales last year declined 21 percent from 2013 and the company reported a loss of $226 million.
Yeesh. Zynga's stock price at the close of yesterday's trading was $2.90, and today's trading so far has been, in a word, brutal.
Clearly, someone's head is going to roll.
Zynga Inc., the struggling maker of video games for mobile phones and tablets, said Chief Executive Officer Don Mattrick will leave the company and that founder and Chairman Mark Pincus will return to the role of CEO.
The changes are effective immediately, San Francisco-based Zynga said Wednesday in a statement. Mattrick, who has led the company since July 2013, will also leave the board.
For fans of schadenfreude, Mattrick's "resignation" is pretty tasty. You didn't do the job so out you go. Thanks for nothing, and don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya. All that good stuff.
Wait a second, this is Silicon Valley we're talking about. This seems too logical a bit harsh.
Mattrick will receive a $4 million severance payment, according to the company, and may get up to $1 million for a 2015 bonus.
Well, that sounds more like it. Pay a guy an extra $5 million for not really fixing the company he was hired to save. Northern California truly is the modern Valley of Dreams.
But seriously, Zynga isn't going to get back at Mattrick in any way?
The company will also accelerate the vesting of 5.11 million shares granted to its former chief.
Ok, that's more like it.