How much to turn around Zynga? Try $50m

How much is turning around ailing casual game company Zynga worth? If you're ex-Microsoft Don Mattrick, the answer is a cool $50m. Details of Mattrick's reward package – starting with a $1m salary and climbing from there – have emerged courtesy of the SEC, with the former interactive entertainment business president taking home a $5m signing bonus, among other things.

Those "other things" include a generous bonus. According to the SEC filing which details Mattrick's compensation package, the initial bonus for fiscal year 2013 will be a prorated 200-percent of his salary, or, the average 2013 bonus percentage of other Zynga executive officers.

After that, Mattrick will take home as much of 4x his base salary in bonuses in 2014, though the target amount is 2x. Beyond that point, Zynga's board will decide on the bonus amount and what criteria Mattrick will need to satisfy in order the get it.

It's the stock options which could end up being worth the most, however, assuming Zynga holds its value – or increases it. The company will hand over $25m-worth to Mattrick over the course of three years, as restricted stock options, while a further $15m of restricted shares and options are also on the table.

Mattrick will need to work hard to earn those bonuses, however, with Zynga not quite showing the same shine as in its early days. Last month, the company closed down three of its studios and laid off 18-percent of its workforce, then promptly shuttered the OMGPOP studio just over a year after it had acquired it.

Former employees have criticized Zynga's business strategy with games, with one citing "an over reliance on every game being a blockbuster hit which makes the fun aspect of games suffer while making the money grabbing tactics all too transparent to the users."

VIA Bloomberg