This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Zynga Investors Should Thank Mark Pincus

Stocks in this article: ZNGA P

I am in the process of attempting to open a dialogue with Pincus. He seems like the type of interesting person I would like to get to know. And now that he's not CEO, he might accept my requests for engagement. Because I want to get the lay of the land straight from Pincus, I have not reached out to others at the company lately. Again, that's hearsay and I prefer to leave that work for others. As such, I can only speculate that this is what's happening.

Even if it's not, what follows is a model many founders do and more founders should replicate at their startup and beyond.

When he's not traveling, Westergren walks around Pandora's offices all day. Nobody (including Westergren and all other executives) has their own private office at Pandora. It's just cubicles scattered in open air throughout an ever expanding bit of real estate in Oakland, Calif. Westergren traverses from scheduled meeting to scheduled meeting, but much of what happens throughout his day happens spontaneously.

Without knowing specifically what takes place in the many random conversations Westergren has with Pandora employees or free from the strictures of being CEO, it's tough to illustrate with precision why this approach can be so favorable for a company. It's something to put on the list to ask both Westergren and Pincus. But, the sense I get from being present in Pandora's offices and speaking with dozens of folks in the company is that this setup lets creative and collaborative juices flow.

The relatively laid back office atmospheres at places like Zynga and Pandora contribute to this. But having creative, forward-looking minds like Westergren's (and Pincus') focused, as much as possible, on being creative and forward-looking is powerful, particularly when you couple it with the daily brainstorming and visioning they can get done alone and with others. It's not that CEOs cannot accomplish this. You would be wrong to call Joe Kennedy something other than a visionary, but that's not his full-time role. It simply cannot be.

There's so much other stuff that goes along with being CEO -- from working with budgets to dealing with investors to the fires that appear daily -- that it's next to impossible, for most people I contend, to be CEO and maximize the qualities that allowed them to conceive and get a company off the ground in the first place.

I don't view this approach as aiming low as an individual; rather, I see it as recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, reigning in your ego and making the best decision for the here and now as well as the future of your company without you.

Whether the board made it for him or not (and, if I recall, Pincus controlled his board) is neither here nor there, Pincus made the decision to take a route that looks something like -- or maybe exactly like -- Westergren's. And this is one reason why Zynga has a fighting chance at a meaningful turnaround.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is a columnist and TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.
2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs