OMGPOP CEO Tweets About Employee Who Didn’t Take Deal

But it didn’t stop there. Via Venturebeat:

Yesterday, OMGPOP Chief Executive Officer Dan Porter shot off a few messages on Twitter in an attempt to have the last word:

“The one OMGPOP employee who turned down joining Zynga was the weakest one on the whole team,” Porter tweeted. “Selfish people make bad games. Good riddance!”

Porter didn’t stop with that. In another tweet, the CEO said, “What’s so interesting about success is the number of failures who try try to ride on your back. Shay Pierce is just one of many….” Or in other words: They see me drawing something — they hatin’.

How does one even start? The CEO of a OMGPOP, a company that was bought by Zynga, a larger company publicly bashed an employee who made a decision that the employee felt was best for him? It just doesn’t make sense. Why does the CEO even care? Or, if he truly did have reason to care, why address it in such a public forum?

It is true that the employee, Shay Pierce, wrote a column for Gamasutra explaining why he didn’t take the Zynga deal, probably revealing too much in the details of his employment, but even so, he made an express point of having no hard feelings.

I’m not bitter. I have zero complaints about anyone at Omgpop and I congratulate them for their success. Zynga had the right to ignore my attempts to negotiate; I had the right to walk away. This has all been legal and amicable.

This tantrum isn’t doing Porter any favors. Several people called him out on his pettiness. Just a sample below:

This is such a poor example of leadership. The high road would have been to wish the employee the best and be on his merry (very merry) way. It is up to any CEO to lead the company into the future, not look back with disdain. People come and go. Those who stay want to be there. It is evident that Shay Pierce didn’t want to be there. And that was his choice.

Jason Goldberg, CEO of said it very well in regard to his own employees:

It’s simple. We believe that we are building the best company in the world to work for. But, in the end, everyone has a choice as to where they want to work. We want people who choose

(Full disclosure: I work for

And since this story broke, it seems that Dan Porter realized the error of his ways, deleted the tweets and apologized. Several times.

I hope for his sake, these apologies can help restore Dan Porter’s credibility. Because deleting the offending tweets sure didn’t.

UPDATE: It seems Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter didn’t think too highly of Porter’s remarks.

Even more reaction can be found on Kevin Marks‘ blog here.

Yeah, probably not the best move he ever made as CEO, but perhaps he’s learned something. However, according to this tweet, I don’t hold out much hope.

UPDATE 2: It seems the story goes on. An “anonymous source” told Business Insider

We received a particularly angry email yesterday from a source within OMGPOP who took a number of shots at Pierce.

This person said that while Pierce did indeed resign, that was “convenient” for everyone, because he was about to be let go for being a poor worker.

“He frequently took long lunches, his coding was poor, and right before his team was about to release our new Facebook game, Streets, he took off for a week to promote his own game at the GDC conference,” says the source. According to this OMGPOP source, this all happened while Pierce’s team was pulling late nights in the office to prepare for launch.

The article continues with Pierce stating that he was never given any indication from management that he was going to be fired. The source stated that Pierce was “on the chopping block” but hadn’t been informed of it.

Whether or not Pierce was a good employee or about to be fired is beside the point. Even if his post on Gamasutra was not completely honest or if it offended other people on the team, it is still not acceptable for a CEO to publicly bash a former employee in the way that he did. It is beneath his position and frankly not very nice.

Then again, we’re all human and we all make mistakes.

Porter admitted that the he was harsh in his language describing Pierce. “Yes it was, but my point is that it wasn’t about Shay. It was about the 41 other people who made it happen,” Porter wrote. “Those are the people I would throw myself in front of the train for and those are the people I want to celebrate.”