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Exclusive: Mark Pincus memo to Zynga employees

November 10, 2011: 4:04 PM ET

Earlier today the Wall Street Journal suggested that social gaming giant Zynga had strong-armed employees into giving up previously-granted stock options. I wrote a follow-up post, arguing that the WSJ made things sound much worse than they really were.

Now we have obtained a related email sent by Zynga CEO Mark Pincus to company employees earlier today. Lots of typos, but a basic message of how Zynga is a "meritocracy." Here it is:

Team,

The wall street journal posted a story last night (copied below) which paints our meritocracy in a false and skewed light. The story is based on hearsay and innuendo which is disappointing but is to be expected as we move towards becoming a public company.

We have nothing to hide in our past and present policies and I am proud of the ethical and fair way that we've built this company.  As many of you have heard me say -- we're building a house that we want to live in.

Being a meritocracy is one of our core values and it's on our walls.  We believe that every employee deserves the same opportunity to lead. Its not about where or when you enter zynga its how far you can grow. This is what our culture of leveling up is all about and its one of our coolest features.

we want everyone to put zynga first and contribute to the overall success of our company and all of you have.

thanks,
mark

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About This Author
Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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