Report: New CEO takes a bet on Zynga’s stock

Don Mattrick, Zynga’s new CEO, could see a huge payday if he’s able to boost the stock price of the struggling social gaming company.

Mattrick, who will officially take the reins from Mark Pincus on Monday, will receive about 95 percent of his pay in stock, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. The Journal did not know how much stock he will receive or the total size of his compensation package and Zynga hasn’t yet reported such details.

But the company has been generous with stock awards in the past. In March, for example, the company awarded four of its top-paid executives more than a million restricted shares each and another top executive received 970,500 stock units all under an annual compensation program. Mattrick almost certainly will receive a good deal more than that. By comparison, John Schappert, whom Zynga hired two years ago to be its chief operating officer, received more than 2.1 million restricted shares when he joined the company — even though he also received a $10 million cash bonus.

Microsoft did not disclose how much it paid Mattrick during his tenure at the company, where he headed up its video games division. The last time his salary was disclosed was in 2006, when he worked at Electronic Arts. In his last year as president of its worldwide studios, Mattrick earned $704,146, all in cash.

Although Zynga’s stock has spiked since yesterday, when reports first surfaced that Mattrick would be named CEO, it’s little more than a $1 a share above its 52-week — and all-time — low, meaning Mattrick may be getting stock priced near its nadir. Just 15 months ago, Zynga was trading at more than $14 a share.

Photo courtesy of Zynga.


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