Silicon Valley Divorce News: Billionaire Marc Pincus Hit With Divorce Papers
When Silicon Valley billionaires divorce, its like elephants fighting. Always a riveting spectacle. This time, it is Alison Gelb Pincus and her husband, billionaire Mark Pincus – an online game developer in San Francisco.
Alison and Mark apparently have a prenup which she wants the court to toss. Her argument is that her husband’s networth shot up stratospherically after their marriage and that she deserves a cut.
The New York Post:
His beautiful wife, Alison Gelb Pincus, the co-founder of One Kings Lane, which sold to Bed Bath & Beyond for $30 million last year, has filed for divorce in San Francisco, citing “irreconcilable differences,” and is asking the court to nullify their prenup.
The tech power couple has been married for nearly nine years and has three young children. Mark founded Zynga in 2007, a year before they married in 2008. Within four years, Zynga grew to a $1 billion company. He is now worth $1.28 billion.
A source close to the couple said, “They separated this month and divorce paperwork was filed a few weeks ago. They are seeking joint custody of their three children, twin girls and a boy.” They lived in the ultra-exclusive Pacific Heights neighborhood, home to Silicon Valley’s elite.
That’s all well and good. But Alison, as you just read based on her co-founding of One King’s Lane which sold to Bed Bath and Beyond, is not exactly a poor housewife. She wasn’t a trophy wife who needs her husband’s hand outs either. She had her own successful business, and her own money. Why isn’t she satisfied with that?
Sure, $30 million is not $1.5 billion. That is what her husband is rumoured to be worth. But is he? Or is it just rumour?
Mark founded the company, Zynga, which he named after his dead bulldog, in 2007 with a bunch of other people. He received tens of millions of dollars in venture capital money to fund his company and the initial success of the venture is credited to his alliance with Facebook where he had developed an app that was very successfully used by Facebookers. One of his games, FarmVille was the first to reach 10 million daily active users on Facebook – according to Wikipedia.
But Zynga and Facebook would ultimately have a falling out over monetization and credits, etcetera.
Make a long story short, Mark’s company went on to raise more than $1 billion in an initial public offering in 2011. Things were looking up for a while but within two years, they started laying off employees, and closing offices across the U.S. They also started to lose customers and investors, who, according to their Wikipedia profile, began devaluing the company. Mark, who has been described by some as a little hard to work with, stepped down from day to day operations in the wake of several upper management defections and resignations. There was even a lawsuit after an employee was accused of stealing trade secrets and taking them to another rival company.
To make matters more heady, the Wikipedia profile claims that “Zynga said that it planned to sell its headquarters in San Francisco, a property last assessed at over $238 million.” This sounds like they are in some serious financial trouble.
So the question is the following: Does Mark have the cash or equity to pay his wife more even if she did get the court to invalidate their prenup? Or is she on the brink of becoming Justine Musk? Ex wife of Elon Musk?