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One reason people love to hate Zynga

June 4, 2013: 2:53 PM ET

zynga-websiteZynga has only its CEO to blame for some of its schadenfreude.

FORTUNE -- Social gaming company Zynga yesterday announced plans to lay off around 18% of its staff, which works out to around 520 employees. Among those losing their jobs are all New York, Los Angeles and Dallas employees. Also included, it seems is most of the  OMGPOP studio -- creators of Draw Something -- which Zynga acquired last year for around $200 million.

In the past I've expressed optimism for Zynga's (ZNGA) future, as a leaner company focused more on real-money gaming than on virtual goods/Farmville plush toys/etc. I know that some folks in Las Vegas don't take Zynga poker players seriously, but they do so at their own peril so long as Zynga can hold on long enough for enough states to legalize online poker.

But, all of that said, these layoffs again go to prove the schadenfreude repurcussions of Zynga founder and CEO Mark Pincus netting around $109 million via a private secondary round nine months before Zynga's December 2011 IPO.

He has said the purpose was to remove any pressure to sell the company, because he was in it for the long haul. Fine. But when you lay off more than 500 people in order to save an estimated $80 million, the knives are going to be extra long if you've personally stashed millions more in your private account before the company became sustainably profitable.

After all, imagine if Pincus had let that $109 million be invested directly into the company nstead...

Anyway, here is some video from earlier today of me discussing Zynga on CNBC, alongside  AllThingsD's Arick Hesseldahl.

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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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