After a stringofnewsreports in the past few weeks about the rising unrest at Yahoo under Marissa Mayer and the mass exodus of talent (including some of Mayer’s most trusted executives), one person has had enough: Zynga CEO Mark Pincus.
Earlier this week, Pincus tweeted his defence of Mayer:
Huge respect for @marissamayer for leading @Yahoo with courage and heart. Its easier to criticise than solve innovate or lead. #marissafan”
He then implied that much of the negative news reports were because the only people talking were angry ex-employees hiding under anonymity. And he urged the folks that support Mayer to stand up and speak out, too, tweeting:
“It would be awesome for everyone @yahoo who loves @marissamayer to be vocal too. Too many stories full of the disgruntled anonymous”
That might be easier said than done. Like most companies, Yahoo’s policy forbids employees to speak to the press without authoritization. In fact, sources close to Yahoo have told Business Insider that Yahoo is vigilant in looking for leaks to the press, even monitoring employees’ emails for signs they are communicating to reporters at Re/Code, Business Insider and other sites that cover Yahoo closely. So whatever current employees think about Yahoo these days, they aren’t encouraged to speak out.
It’s not a surprise that Pincus would feel kinship with Mayer and the difficulties in masterminding a turnaround. He’s in the same boat.
Zynga is the once-hot gaming company most famous for its FarmVille and Words With Friends franchises. Pincus left the CEO role in 2013 (staying on as chairman), turning the job over to Don Mattrick. The stock has not traded above $3.50 in more than a year (and has mostly traded well under $5 since 2012).
Earlier this year, Mattrick was out and Pinus returned as CEO. Last quarter, Zynga revealed another decline in monthly users, and that its CFO David Lee was leaving.
Pincus says he’s got a strategy to turn Zynga around, he told Business Insider earlier this month. “It makes it a harder strategy to show when you’re a public company,” Pincus told us.
And it looks like his efforts to raise public support for Mayer hasn’t take off, at least not yet and not on Twitter.
The hashtag #marissafan only had a couple of new tweets.
Instead Re/Code’s Kara Swisher took Pincus to task, complaining he was blaming the media. Swisher has been closely covering Yahoo for years and has been breaking most of the news about Yahoo’s ongoing executive departures.
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