Microsoft fired a marketing executive known as “Mr. Fun” because of problems with purchase orders related to a three-story party palace he created at the Sundance film festival and because he flew first class without authorization, according to Ad Age.
A PR agency that represented Hadley and the party did not immediately return a request for comment.
Eric Hadley was the general manager for marketing communications on the Bing search engine marketing team. He and a colleague, director Sean Carver, were fired last week by Microsoft “for violation of company policies related to mismanagement of company assets and vendor procurement.” the company said.
Ad Age reported:
An internal investigation turned up a list of violations, which Ad Age has learned included problems with line items and dates on purchase orders related to the three-story Bing Bar in Park City, Utah — Microsoft’s celeb hangout during the Sundance Film Festival.
Another incident cited in the list of violations involved the Bing marketing team paying Co Collective, which was not a Microsoft-approved vendor, a $1-million-plus fee through longtime agency Razorfish. The Bing team had worked with Co founders Rosemarie Ryan and Ty Montague, when they were at JWT to launch Bing in 2009 and, as Ad Age reported, were eager to tap their new venture to refresh the brand.
A third violation was a first-class flight Mr. Carver took from New York to Seattle when he was not authorised to fly first class.
The Bing Bar was a three-level bar/nightclub/hangout space that attracted performers such as Drake, Wiz Khalifa, Cobra Starship, Jason Mraz, Theophilus London, comedian Aziz Ansari and snowboarder Kevin Pearce. Its job was to give Bing an aura of cool in its war for search share against Google. Hadley’s nickname in the company was “Mr. Fun,” because much of his job was about wrangling celebrities for cool parties that created buzz for Bing.
When asked whether the effort was paying off, Hadley told Business Insider:
“I don’t know if it’s a money maker or money loser, but it’s just a really good way to showcase technology for Microsoft.”
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