Don Mattrick Jumps Ship
You may not be familiar with Zynga ( zynga.com) unless you are a gamer, but Facebook users will know the company as the originator
of Facebook's FarmVille game. Zynga started out as a hot entity in
2009, with its games drawing 10 million daily active users. The stock
began trading at $10 in 2011 and hit $14.50 in 2012, but nose-dived to
$2.09 later that year. It has since recovered to a recent $3.42, but the
company's long-term prospects are in question, and it has laid off 500+
employees to reduce operating costs.
In an effort to turn things around, the company recently recruited
its new CEO Don Mattrick away from Microsoft with a $5 million
signing bonus and stock options valued at $40 million. Ironically,
Bloomberg has reported that Mattrick had long been interested in
buying Zynga, but, hey, why pay money for something when they'll pay
you to take it? NV
September 2013 11
High-End Ear Buds
For years, Cardas Audio ( www.cardas.com) has been manufacturing premium audio cables and other components for audiophiles. As the
story goes, a few years ago, George Cardas was designing cables for a
major headphone vendor but was unimpressed by their overall product.
So, naturally, George decided to design his own headphone line. The
result is the model EM5813 ear speakers — billed as "efficient, natural,
musical, and the result of years of meticulous design ..."
According to the company, new insights into magnetics and
metallurgy have produced a custom driver with unmatched performance.
The units — made in Connecticut and California — employ the company's
Clear Light Headphone Cable, featuring a special matched propagation
technology. The ear speakers can be plugged into a portable headphone
amplifier or connected directly to a smartphone or media player using the
gold-plated plug and 60 inch (1.52 m) cable.
Technical specs are hard to come by, but it is said that the units are
designed to mimic the human cochlea and tympanic membrane to
produce superior sound. They do come with two sets of tips: standard
and bass limiting. Early reviews are highly favorable, as they should be for
a pair of ear buds that cost $425. ▲
■ Exploded view of Cardas Audio's
EM5813 ear speaker.
INDUSTRY and the PROFESSION