Zynga CEO Mark Pincus: Boston closing, Austin reducing, 5% of full-time staff laid off

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus Boston closing, Austin reducing, 5% of fulltime staff laid off

Zynga is laying off 5 percent of its full-time workforce, closing its Boston studio and significantly reducing staff at its Austin studio, CEO and founder Mark Pincus writes in a letter to employees. Zynga is proposing closures of its Japan and UK studios, retiring 13 older games and "significantly reducing" its investment in The Ville.

"In addition to these studios, we are also making a small number of partner team reductions," Pincus writes. "In all, we will unfortunately be parting ways with approximately 5 percent of our full time workforce. We don't take these decisions lightly as we recognize the impact to our colleagues and friends who have been on this journey with us. We appreciate their amazing contributions and will miss them."

As part of a larger restructuing, Zynga is cutting "spending on data hosting, advertising and outside services, primarily contractors." Pincus says these measures will "improve profitability" and allow the company to "reinvest in great games."

Pincus will host a webcast tomorrow, following its earnings report. There is no word of the Zynga Chicago studio losing staff, as was rumored earlier today. Read Pincus' full letter below.
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INTERNAL NOTE FROM ZYNGA CEO AND FOUNDER, MARK PINCUS


Team,

Earlier today we initiated a number of changes to streamline our operations, focus our resources on our most strategic opportunities, and invest in our future. We waited to share this news with all of you until we had first spoken with the groups impacted.



As part of these changes, we've had to make some tough decisions around products, teams and people. I want to fill you in on what's happened and address any concerns you may have.



Here are the most important details.



We are sunsetting 13 older games and we're also significantly reducing our investment in The Ville.



We are closing the Zynga Boston studio and proposing closures of the Zynga Japan and UK studios. Additionally, we are reducing staffing levels in our Austin studio. All of these represent terrific entrepreneurial teams, which make this decision so difficult.


In addition to these studios, we are also making a small number of partner team reductions.



In all, we will unfortunately be parting ways with approximately 5% of our full time workforce. We don't take these decisions lightly as we recognize the impact to our colleagues and friends who have been on this journey with us. We appreciate their amazing contributions and will miss them.



This is the most painful part of an overall cost reduction plan that also includes significant cuts in spending on data hosting, advertising and outside services, primarily contractors.



These reductions, along with our ongoing efforts to implement more stringent budget and resource allocation around new games and partner projects, will improve our profitability and allow us to reinvest in great games and our Zynga network on web and mobile.


Zynga made social gaming and play a worldwide phenomenon, and we remain the industry leader. Our success has come from our dedication to a simple and powerful proposition – that play is not just something people do to pass time, it's a core need for every person and culture.



We will all be discussing these difficult changes more with our teams and as a company. Tomorrow, Dave and I will be hosting a post-earnings webcast (details to follow) and next week we will be discussing our broader vision and strategy during our quarterly all-hands meeting. I'm confident this puts us on the right path to deliver on the promise of social gaming and make Zynga into an internet treasure.



If you have any immediate questions, I hope you will talk directly with your manager, Colleen, or me.

I look forward to talking with you tomorrow.



Mark

This article was originally published on Joystiq.