May 2, 2012

White Dog and The White Dog Army
Wonderful World Wednesday
White Dog hates when the headlines scream of another corporate downsizing costing thousands their jobs or when a plant that has sustained an entire community for generations shuts its doors turning out hundreds of loyal workers without other job options. We hate when executives make million dollar bonuses at the same time workers take paycuts just to keep their jobs. Like many, the White Dog Army assumes corporate activities are always self-serving and without compassion.

It made us stop and take notice when we read the story below. It is the story of a corporation that cared about its employees and went the extra mile to share a surge in good fortune. It is about a business that understands that it was built and maintained by loyal employees...humans with families who deserved respect and loyalty in return. It is about sharing success at every level. If only more companies had this same sense of doing what is right, the world would indeed be more wonderful.

Before OMGPOP Sold For $210 Million, 
the CEO Hired Back Everyone He Laid Off and Made Sure They Cashed In
Carlson  Business Insider, April 9, 2012

A few months ago, OMGPOP  was about to go bust. Its Facebook games weren’t performing and prospects were so bleak, CEO Dan Porter was forced to lay off several of the startup's flash developers.

Then OMGPOP launched a mobile game called Draw Something, and everything changed. Days after its launch, Draw Something was an obvious hit. Within weeks, it became the most popular iPhone/Facebook game out there. 35 million people downloaded it in six weeks.

Social games biggie Zynga came calling with a ton of cash, and bought OMGPOP for $210 million.

So what happened to those people Porter laid off? The answer to that question is a pretty dramatic story with a happy ending.

We first heard it from an industry source in New York. Then we checked around. Here's a lightly edited telling of the tale from someone else – an unimpeachable, first-hand source with knowledge of the situation (This source asked us not to use his or her name out of respect to Zynga's quiet period.):
OMGPOP was not getting traction on Facebook, but it still had a bunch of flash developers.
Porter could have moved them around to mobile or other projects but money was running tight. To extend the company's runway, he had to let them go.

This move bought OMGPOP another month or two of runway. It was purely a financial decision and a really tough one. The company tried to find jobs for the people who were fired.

Once Draw Something took off and it looked like we might do a deal, CEO Dan Porter hired the fired workers back ASAP. He was literally negotiating the deal and jamming the re-hires back into payroll to make sure they were covered with hours remaining in the close. Their options kept vesting and they benefitted from the sale.

Porter didn't have to do it. It was just the mensch thing to do.

There was one guy who used to work for OMGPOP who was facing a deadline on whether or not to exercises his options. He couldn't decide, and Porter didn't want him to lose out, so he hired him as a contractor to extend his vesting as well. He made money too.

Every single employee got something from the deal, even new employees who hadn't reached their cliff. Porter made sure it happened.

Reminder: Tomorrow, MAY 3, join us in celebrating YoYoMa's very First Gotcha Day. For every comment left we will donate $1.00 to the Blind Dog Rescue Alliance. Please help make our boy's day as super special as he is.


Nola said...

What a great story! I'll defiantly come by to help celebrate such an important day!
Dachshund Nola

bichonpawz said...

EXCELLENT story!!! So tired of hearing bad news all the time! Very glad that all those people are back working!! We will pop over tomorrow for the special day!! xoxo Chloe and LadyBug

Tweedles -- that's me said...

We are sick on the many rich companys too- who don't care about their employees