Dan Porter, CEO Of OMGPOP, Hired Back Laid-Off Workers Before $210 Million Zynga Acquisition

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Flickr/TCDisrupt/teamstickergiant
Flickr/TCDisrupt/teamstickergiant

With all the talk about excessive compensation, ponzi schemes and the nasty side of Steve Jobs, it might be easy to assume that all successful CEOs are jerks.

But one CEO -- Dan Porter of social game designer OMGPOP -- has blown that prejudice right out of the water after he hired back fired employees so that they could cash in on the company's sudden success, Business Insider reports.

OMGPOP -- the creator of the popular Draw Something game available for both iPhone and Android -- was sold last month for $210 million to social gaming company Zynga Inc.

This was a huge boon to the once-struggling start-up that was close to going bust, according to Fortune. A few months ago, with sales floundering, Porter made the difficult decision to lay off several Flash developers, PCMag.com reports.

Then, of course, the launch -- and consequent popularity -- of the Pictionary-like game Draw Something changed everything. Within six weeks, it was downloaded by 35 million users, becoming the most popular iPhone/Facebook game around, Wall Street Cheat Sheet reports.

That's when Zynga came calling -- and Porter quickly got to work getting the employees he fired back in the game.

"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," an anonymous source with first-hand knowledge of the situation told Business Insider. "Their options kept vesting and they benefited from the sale."

"Porter didn't have to do it," the source added. "It was just the mensch thing to do."

Dan Porter is not alone in the 'mensch' CEO category. Last month, tech CEO Markus 'Notch' Persson made headlines when he decided to share his wealth by giving his employees an extra $3 million.

Earlier this year, Australian executives made a lot of their employees very happy when they gave them a $16 million bonus in recognition of their loyalty.

In an interview with Xconomy, Brad Feld -- the tech entrepreneur and investor -- stressed that good leaders don’t have to be jerks.

"Some of the sweetest people in the world are super successful CEOs," he said.

Though Porter was criticized last week for comments he posted on Twitter about an ex-employee, the OMGPOP CEO -- with a now-thriving company and lots of good karma -- may just fit the bill.

Images: teamstickergiant, Flickr/TCDisrupt, Flickr

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