Social game maker Zynga is remaking its stock rules to give chief executive Mark Pincus 70 times more voting power than the shares that will be sold in its planned initial public offering, according to Bloomberg.
The move shows that Zynga believes it can command such power even though it is selling shares to the public. That’s another sign of how hot the market for social games is. Zynga dominates social games on Facebook with more than 272 million monthly active users.
The board has approved three tiers of stock, each one giving Pincus 70 votes for each share, up from 10 votes in the past. Pre-IPO investors will get seven votes a share, up from one, and public investors will get one for each share. The terms are unprecedented, Bloomberg said, as they will give Pincus more power than his counterparts at other big tech companies. The rules, for instance, give Pincus more voting power than Reid Hoffman, the CEO of LinkedIn; Spencer Rascoff, the CEO of Zillow; and Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Google; Those companies offered special shareholders 10 times more votes than public investors.
Lise Buyer, a principal at IPO advisory firm Class V Group, told Bloomberg that “Zynga has invented something new” that was “unprecedented” for tech companies.
Clearly, the move is intended to put Pincus in charge of whether the company is sold off. San Francisco-based Zynga declined comment. Zynga asked the current shareholders to agree to the new stock structure by Sept. 2, according to a contract cited by Bloomberg. Pincus has a 16 percent stake in Zynga, making him a multibillionaire at Zynga’s expected valuation at $10 billion to $20 billion.