Zynga's new CEO to get pay package worth some $50 million

SAN FRANCISCO Wed Jul 3, 2013 7:03pm EDT

The corporate logo of Zynga Inc, the social network game development company, is shown at its headquarters in San Francisco, California April 26, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

The corporate logo of Zynga Inc, the social network game development company, is shown at its headquarters in San Francisco, California April 26, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

Related Topics

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Don Mattrick, the head of Microsoft Corp's Xbox business who will replace Zynga Inc founder Mark Pincus as chief executive next week, will get a hefty, largely stock-based compensation package of about $50 million in coming years, the company said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

In his first year, Mattrick will receive a base salary of $1 million, a sign-on cash bonus of $5 million and a 2013 bonus of $2 million, or the average bonus of Zynga's other executives, the company said.

To compensate for shares he lost in leaving Microsoft, Mattrick will receive a make-whole grant of $25 million, or about 9 million restricted stock units that will vest over the next three years. These shares are currently valued at over $30.5 million.

Zynga stock has soared 11 percent since the company announced on Monday that Mattrick was coming on board as chief executive.

At the end of his first year, Mattrick will get 45.32 percent of his 9 million restricted stock units, valued by the company at about $11.3 million based on the June 26 price. This takes his salary in his first year to a total of $19.3 million.

Zynga is also giving Mattrick an inducement grant of 1,785,714 restricted stock units with a target value of $5 million and an option to buy 7,357,143 shares with a target value of $10 million that will vest at the end of his third, fourth and fifth term of employment.

Mattrick is expected to make about $14.3 million in his second term and about $8.4 million in his third term as chief executive.

If the company is pleased with Mattrick's performance, he is eligible for grants of new stock with a target value of $7 million in 2014. In following years, the company's board can award him new stock grants, but will try to keep the target value at $7 million.

Credited with building Microsoft's Xbox business into a gaming powerhouse, Mattrick officially takes over on Monday as chief executive at Zynga, known for it's "Farmville" games.

Mattrick's new role leading a company that publishes social media-based titles and smartphone games will be a marked departure from his long career in the world of big-budget, packaged console games.

Mattrick headed successful franchises such as "FIFA" during his 15 years at video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. He joined Microsoft in 2007.

At Microsoft, Mattrick helped turn the Xbox business into a profitable venture after years of operating losses, eventually propelling the device into the top selling console in the United States.

Zynga shares closed nearly 5 percent higher at $3.42 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Malathi Nayak. Editing by Andre Grenon)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
dawks wrote:
I find it interesting that the stock rebounded significantly when in reality it is likely he was ousted due to the abysmal Xbox One launch.

He was a crucial supporter of the always on DRM aspect, and many other factors that caused severe gamer backlash. In fact, there was so much backlash that MSFT backed off its statements ‘for now’.

When you combine this “Up until the week ending June 15 the PlayStation 4 currently leads in the total number of pre-orders with about 75,000. The Xbox One is lagging behind with 45,000 pre-orders” with the fact that the Xbox One is $100 more… not sure this is as good as of an acquisition as the markets expect.

Jul 04, 2013 8:33am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.