October 5, 2023

Hispanic Heritage Month Employee Spotlight: Josue Pineda

Josue Pineda, Executive Producer and AMIGOZ Co-Lead, shares how he spends his time (it may or may not include Gantt charts), and why he thinks success is a team sport. He shares his perspective on trust, incremental changes and consistency in leadership having powerful impacts — and why philanthropy and gaming go hand in hand. 

What would someone be surprised to learn about your company or profession?

When I tell my friends or family that I work for Zynga, they believe that I spend my days playing video games and making Gantt charts. This is far from the truth! 

The bulk of my day is spent connecting the dots on a human level to build the relationships and camaraderie we need to execute our global strategic goals…and then I build the Gantt charts. It kinda sounds like a video game when I lay it out like that.

How would you describe the people within Zynga?

In my time at Zynga, I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by fantastic people from all walks of life. This didn’t happen magically —  the talent we have is something we’ve actively pursued as an organization over the past few years. I am still astounded by the caliber of people that I get the privilege to work with.

Elaborating on that point, the main ethos of my manager since I was hired was akin to a Simon Sinek quote — A culture is strong when people work with each other, for each other. A culture is weak when people work against each other, for themselves. Success is a team sport. Strong relationships are based on trust and communication. Since my start date, I’ve been on a mission to bring people and teams closer so that we all feel a sense of camaraderie.

Do you have any mentors or leaders that have helped or inspired you throughout your career?

The most impactful leaders and influences in my career have been individuals who day-in and day-out work to deliver against the commitments they’ve made and continuously strive to make incremental changes to better the work environment. On its face it sounds like a boring statement, but these are the people who make the most impact in organizations that I’ve been a part of. Let’s break it down…

Trust. When you have trust in someone, you’re willing to go the extra mile for them. If you have a leader who makes a commitment and delivers on that commitment, they’re developing trust and respect for you. Trust is necessary to build strong teams, and the success of these teams hinges on how well a leader is able to provide the north star and rally the team forward.

Incremental changes. Bombastic proclamation can be spectacular in the moment, but without follow through it’s painfully clear that it was all empty platitudes. A non-gaming example that comes to mind is the individual that proclaims to want to change so they go to the gym and eat healthier, but they’re inconsistent —  so they’re never able to realize the fruits of their proclamation. Rather, if you’re an individual that consistently goes day after day, you’ll start to see monumental gains.

I’m inspired by the hardworking people that realize that it’s not just another paycheck. One entire week consists of 168 hours — 40 hours is 24% of the total time you have in a week! My hope is that people strive to connect and better the environment of a place where they spend nearly a quarter of their week.

Tell us about joining AMIGOZ and what the group has brought to you and your career. 

When we conceptualized the idea of having a group that would represent someone like myself at Zynga, I wanted to ensure we created a pathway to give back to the community. A community is more than the sum of its people, and we are all part of our own communities. I wanted to give back. When I talk about this, I normally get odd looks — but in my mind I believe that philanthropy and gaming can go hand in hand.

The Guinness World Records’ largest recorded fundraiser via gaming streamers was a Z Event that brought in $11.6M, andIn 2020 Forbes reported that  streamers raised over $83M. I hope to continue to further the narrative of gamers who care. We’re all a part of this community, which is why I hope to use my time on the AMIGOZ board to help those in need.