Mark Pincus Only Gets Paid $1 Annual Salary
It is no secret that Zynga has been losing top executives since last year. Now, CEO Mark Pincus is implementing a bold strategy to hold on to his executive leadership team, with new pay schemes that effectively double the salaries of many key executives. Bonuses will now be tied to performance, increasing maximum payout potential for the top brass. In addition, Pincus has followed in the steps of Silicon Valley CEOs like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Larry Page by reducing his annual salary to $1 and making himself ineligible for the new executive bonuses. It’s been a rough year of changes for Zynga, which posted massive losses in 2012. Zynga has bled key talent lately, including the recent loss of Dan Porter, CEO of Draw Something developer OMGPOP. His departure was preceded by game designer Brian Reynolds in January and CFO Dave Wehner back in November.
Reed Hastings Doubles Down on Netflix
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings laid out an ambitious plan for Netflix’s future in a paper published on the company’s investor relations site. The plan paints Netflix as one of the driving forces behind a transition from linear television to a world of internet-delivered on-demand content. Under Hastings, Netflix is now spending over $2 billion a year on the licensing and creation of content. The company is spending another $350 million a year on improving its service and apps, including improvements to the streaming quality and customer service. And let’s not forget marketing; they’re also spending over $450 million a year on marketing around the world.
Joe Lonsdale Founds New Venture Fund
Palantir Technologies founder Joe Lonsdale, CMEA founder Tom Baruch, and veterans from Khosla Ventures have founded a new Silicon Valley venture fund called Formation 8. The fund has raised close to $450 million to invest in tech startups focused on enterprise and energy. While their main investment focus is on startups in the Valley, the firm is also active in China, Korea and Singapore, and it hopes to help locals make connections in those Asian markets. Gideon Yu, the former Facebook CFO who is now president of the San Francisco 49ers, is a special adviser to the firm. He is joined by fellow Khosla alums Jim King and James Zhang.
Larry Page Inventing a New Future With Google Projects
Google is as serious about the future of technology, from self-driving cars to Google Glass, as they are about their core search engines, CEO Larry Page said during the company’s recent earnings call with analysts. Those innovative products, along with voicebased search and others, may be risky “big bets,” but Google doesn’t want to be focused only on “incremental technologies,” Page said. “That is why we’re investing in what appear to be speculative projects. [Most companies] never do anything different, and they run into problems for that reason. The better the job we can do in providing users with information without their asking for it, the better we can provide commercial information from people who are excited about promoting it.”