Zynga
3.0 of 5 325 reviews
www.zynga.com San Francisco, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Zynga Reviews

Updated Jul 3, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 325 reviews

                             

55% Approve of the CEO

Zynga CEO Don Mattrick

Don Mattrick

(76 ratings)

47% of employees recommend this company to a friend
325 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Free food and snacks are good and did offset some of the salary cut the pre-ipo hired took"
    in 49 reviews
  • "Benefits, cool office environment, in house Gym, breakfast, lunch and dinner"
    in 20 reviews
Cons:
  • "Most employees have a very poor work-life balance, especially around holidays"
    in 40 reviews
  • "Long hours, exhaustion, some mandatory weekends that are arbitrarily chosen"
    in 25 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Company is past its prime but still a decent place to work

    Principal Software Engineer (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsI was at Zynga for more than 4 years. Having joined early, I got to see the company take off and subsequently the recent pains of the past few years.

    Knowing all that, my overall experience here has been fairly positive. Things are better for those who joined early however due to receiving more stock and compensation than those who have joined later. Consequently, it seems like a lot of the older folks are still here while those who have been here for a year or two quickly find something else and leave.

    The company direction isn't great but if you come into grips with the situation and silo yourself within your immediate group, then you'll find passionate people who really care about what they do and also some of the smartest people I've had the pleasure working for.

    And the perks? Awesome. Free food, free gym, shuttles, pretax on transit programs. The culinary department is probably the best performing division and most consistent group within the company. Having been served countless lunches and dinners over the past 4 years, I heartily say thank you to them.

    ConsDirection of the company is not great. Company lacks a culture of innovation and products that the company pushes out are lacking and cannot compare with competitors. I don't see that changing anytime soon unfortunately.

    Company has a lot of cash but pivots constantly with constant re-orgs which throw out everything that was previously done. I've had so many teams and managers in the past year that it's frustrating.

    My best advice is to put your head down, get what you can and learn what you can, and to not let it bother you too much. Otherwise the politics will and can kill this place for someone.

    Having to worry about layoffs all the time suck. Having been through both of them, they were huge morale drainers and made a lot of people jaded about staying, almost to the point of just zombie'ing through their career here. People joke about wanting to stay just to get laid off also and get the severence, not the best work environment to be in.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEmbrace innovation and focus

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Zynga does allow for a high level of autonomy and ownership of product.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsBenefits, People, Environment, Perks, Variability

    ConsCompany is transitioning and the culture, roles and responsibilities are transitioning to more of an EA model.

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    Great resources at your disposal, but plagued with never-ending reorgs.

    Senior Product Manager (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsAccess to real-time data really strengthens the decision-making capabilities. Resources available to do job and perform well. A lot of flexibility given to employees. Lots of great perks (food, gym, dogs, fun building). Fun work environment in a fun building and great city location.

    ConsConstantly plagued with reorgs and leadership changes, impeding on team building opportunities and career growth. Bonuses aren't regular or completely transparent. Losing a bit of the work hard / play hard edge.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWe need more excitement from our new CEO.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    2 people found this helpful  

    Great People, Poor Management

    Lead Game Designer (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat Benefits (food, healthcare, fitness) and great employees (the people who are actually making the games)

    ConsManagement at the team level is sadly terrible. The group of GMs and high level managers that have remained with Zynga are still trying to use strategies from 2008 to determine how to move forward in a completely different game market.

    I have never worked for a more cliquey company in my entire career. I have watched people with little to no experience be promoted to senior and lead positions simply because they had worked with a particular manager on another project. I shouldn't have to hold a "senior" anyone's hand when using Microsoft Word or Perforce.

    Some long-term Zyngites seem oblivious to the troubles the company has had. The frequency in which I heard people brush off layoffs and other cuts in a nonchalant, casual manner was disturbing.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWhen a team has three creative directors but no one to actually implement the vision then perhaps it is time to rethink the org chart.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Great place to work

    Software Engineer (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsThere's a pretty good work-life balance, depending on the team you're on. The benefits and perks offered are great and the teammates I have worked with are awesome. And there's always the chance that you get to work on interesting tasks.

    ConsDue to cost reduction, some perks were taken away. There's a huge gap between what management says about promotions and raises to what actually happen. Given the recent major changes at the company, in some situations, promotions have simply stalled.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe mindful about the teams you have and don't go laying off people while hiring for similar positions on other teams.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Hard, but fun...

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGood people, you learn a lot, and perks are good, but diminishing over time.

    ConsManagement is kinda hit or miss, a lot of missed opportunities, some cronyism at the higher levels

    Advice to Senior ManagementMeritocracy means not just taking care of your favorites...it means taking care of the best

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Loved it! Great coworkers-Lots of talent.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGreat games, Free food, bonuses, gym

    ConsUpper management treats employees like they are numbers. You never know when your project will get cut and you are out of a job-- no matter how good you are.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTalent and people are HUGE assets. Respect them, they are not mere numbers. They are what drive the company.

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Was an amazing ride... until.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsI was one of the first 300 employees and was upwardly mobile for quite sometime
    Bonuses, perks galore, travel, stocks as hiring bonus....

    ...(which split 4 times)

    ConsNever got the raise and the title I was promised once they went public!
    I was told that because I had real stock then that was considered against my wage and that I should feel lucky! It was a hiring bonus in lieu of not being paid market!!!! Disgruntled

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement at Zynga was like a revolving door of Egotistical jerks after my original manager left.
    IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T CONTINUE TO TRY AND FIX IT!!!!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Got too political

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsThe company had a great culture and great benefits. Was there 3+ years and during its best years it was energetic and exciting (those days are no longer).

    ConsPolitics, Inappropriate Managerial Level Ups, too much focus on quick-win Quarterly OKR achievement and the premium placed on quarterly level-ups made longer term planning impossible and irrelevant. Also, I watched first-hand, decisions made which hurt their customers in order to squeeze an extra $.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt's a marathon not a sprint.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    A Bachelor’s in Business Politics

    (Former Employee)

    ProsUsed to staff some of the best minds in the business to learn and work with. Now a great place to be working in the industry if you believe the game part of games takes a back seat to business priorities. A data lover's dream. Great perks and benefits including a great vacation policy. If you find the time to use it..

    ConsA constraining place to work in a creative capacity…all of it stifled by business priorities. Zynga saw a gradual migration of employees from other industry conglomerates shortly after their big game success who now occupy the upper management ranks. They brought much of the politics they claimed to run from with them. Other company leaders wised up and left long ago. Employees must have worked directly with these managers or risk being layoff targets.

    They hire for the job, not the employee except in very specific cases and job functions (seen them cut top tier engineers but not mediocre product/market analysts). If your game starts failing management will see you as fat to be trimmed rather than investigate whether you were one of the few actively keeping an imminent disaster from happening until it was impossible to prevent. A disaster management probably caused.

    Management did not exercise any professional means of evaluating employees during my time, and in many cases looked to an employee's prior reputation in the industry. It is why the last layoffs in January were done shoddily to save a few dollars and lost most of the top talent not networked with the upper management regime. Now they struggle to retain the remaining true talented employees and many left since the last layoffs.

    After they realized the cuts were too deep trying to satisfy the Street, I was called weeks later with an offer for my old job and it took serious restraint not to hang up.

    Letting go of what they need to satisfy ultra short term business goals is characteristic of the company. There was concern when they replaced the CEO with someone even more conservative and money-minded. After seeing no change in management or investors I share the concerns of my former coworkers.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake more responsibility but take more risks too.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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