Zynga CEO Mark Pincus is among the worst CEOs of 2012, according to an article in Businessweek based on selections from Sydney Finkelstein, a Dartmouth College professor.
Finkelstein, who teaches at the Tuck School of Business, cites the social gaming studio's 75 percent stock drop and the recent flight of employees as the kind of "rookie mistakes" that Pincus made. CEOs of Best Buy, Avon and Chesapeake Energy join Pincus on the worst of list.
The FarmVille developer's troubles have surfaced several times in 2012. In July, a group of law firms began an investigation into allegations that executives sold Zynga stock before it plummeted 40 percent. In August, COO John Schappert resigned and Electronic Arts filed suit against Zynga for copyright infringement. The next month, Zynga countersued. By October, Zynga also sued a former CityVille manager alleging that he took trade secrets when he quit to work at E. The company also announced a $52.7 million third quarter loss.
Last month, Zynga announced that its games would no longer be exclusive to Facebook, and its vice president of business development resigned. Many of its games are already available on Zynga's own social network, Zynga With Friends. The company revealed Zynga With Friends in June and announced partners like Konami, Rebellion and Majesco.
An upcoming game called Zynga Elite Slots is headed soon to Facebook, and Polygon spoke with Nick Giovanello from Zynga's Player Insights team about the game and the company's philosophy.
"What we've found with Zynga games in general and social games is they really help players do things that tie directly into human happiness," Giovanello said.