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back to article Microsoft fires Bing execs after biz probe

Two senior Microsoft executives have been fired after an internal investigation into the use of corporate resources. "We can confirm that as the result of an investigation, Eric Hadley and Sean Carver's employment with Microsoft has been terminated for violation of company policies related to mismanagement of company assets and …

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Joke

Asking for it ?

Working on a search engine while hoping to keep stuff secret? ;-)

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Joke

Well it is Bing.

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FAIL

got caught

As many of us have seen in industry it seems the main criteria many VPs use to select vendors/products is how much stock they own in the outside company if not outright ownership. How quaint one of the many greedy sociopaths at the top got caught.

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FAIL

Re: got caught

Ok Ok I will be fair. Sometimes the VP will select a company owned by an old fraternity buddy instead as well. Greed comes first but hooking up your buddies is important as well.

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Headmaster

Re: "got caught". It is very interesting indeed. It is not often we see any example..........

...........of "BigCorp" openly firing senior execs. They normally prefer them to leave quietly speaking about "the exciting new challenges they are going to and how much they have enjoyed their time at the company." Tightly clutching their golden goodbyes on the way out the door - natch. These two must have been very naughty indeed if Redmond decided that making a public example of them in this way was necessary/desirable. It is in fact pretty much a career-killer for both of them - I mean with all the implications behind the way they have left the company they are not going to find it very easy to get new positions, revolving door culture regardless.

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Thumb Down

Re: "got caught". It is very interesting indeed. It is not often we see any example..........

>they are not going to find it very easy to get new positions

Thus why you hook up buddies. They will join some smaller venture capital fund or startup their buddy has setup to as a tax shelter or something.

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Joke

I wonder..

...which search engine they will use when looking for new jobs?

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JDX
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Re: I wonder..

Who uses a search engine to find a job? And people like that certainly don't go on JobServe...

Also - since when is JZ dead?

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Re: I wonder..

HP has jobs for them.

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Re: I wonder..

He's always been dead to me.

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Trollface

mismanagement of company assets

They were caught using Google from the Microsoft company network?

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FAIL

Re: mismanagement of company assets

Don't we already know that Bing is a wrapper for Google search results anyway?

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Re: Bing a wrapper.

No, we don't "know" that. That was an extremely twisted piece of propaganda put about by some over-zealous Google fanatics. The Register covered this last year:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/01/google_accuses_microsoft_of_copying_its_search

What happens is that MS collect data from what users click on to improve their search results if the option is enabled, just the same as Google do. A few Google employees realized that if they created entirely random strings that they arbitrarily linked to particular sites and used IE with preferences set to allow collection of user data, then Bing would learn to associate the random string with those sites. I.e. they deliberately set up a situation in which the only possible source of information was people using Google in their browser and submitting that information to MS, to then claim that MS was copying their results.

The Google version of the story is here: http://goo.gl/1qsuo and once you know the above and understand what is happening, that story seems horrendously two-faced and misleading.

But still, if a lie is repeated often enough, people pick it up and think there's something to it.

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Real issue is

People expect such behavior from Microsoft just like they expected their founder to be short sighted enough to say "640 kb should be enough" which is nothing but IBM's fault.

The real issue is the company image which is a disaster of brand management. obviously they need real changes in company core to fix it just like IBM did in 1990s, down to giving up their money making PC business to Chinese.

People with funny titles like brand entertainment won't say these facts to them.

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Stop

Re: Real issue is

Bill gates never said that "640KB should be enough", it's an urban myth.

http://www.wired.com/politics/law/news/1997/01/1484

Found citation using Google of course ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bing a wrapper.

It's not just clicking links ... they must have been checking what search terms were used as well. Therefore they were deliberately targeting the clicked link based on that search term.

It wasn't just them monitoring links, or else that result would never have appeared for that search term. Therefore they were identifying the most clicked on search, using results returned by Google. Not quite a wrapper for Google's results but still using actively using the results Google found and people clicked on based on that search term to improve their results.

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Re: Real issue is

the poster knows that bill gates didn't say that, that post has to be read carefully

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Re: Re: Real issue is

No but he did say

“The Internet? We are not interested in it.” in 1993

and

“I see little commercial potential for the Internet for at least ten years.” in 1994

before going head long into the internet in 1995 with a call to arms and the creation/purchases of MSN and Hotmail.

At the time most people using the internet knew it was going to be massive.

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Re: Re: Real issue is

If you know there is gold in the hills and everyone looks to you as the world leader in finding gold, do you (a) say you don't think there's gold there whilst you get your wagon train ready, or do you (b) announce to everyone you're heading up there as fast as possible? Evidence suggests that MS were quite aware that the Internet would be big.

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FAIL

Re: Real issue is

>Evidence suggests that MS were quite aware that the Internet would be big.

Well they sure didn't monetize it worth a crap. Thus why Google owns the search market and conversely the internet advertising market as well.

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Re: Gold in the hills

What a terrible business plan and it didn't work if they were stupid enough to think that. I mean, AOL, Compuserve, Mosaic all took the lead while Microsoft were starting to be seen as out of touch and irrelevant.

Why do you think car manufacturers show off advanced concept cars, and tech companies boast about products and markets not yet realised.

You don't keep quiet about the hills, sit in a valley and watch other's take the pickings then have to find another hill.

You tell the world that you own the hill, you have access to all the gold, you have the market sewn up and there is no point in trying as everyone will buy their gold from you anyway. You become the de-facto gold seller...

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Re: Real issue is

Well if Bill says he didn't say it, that's good enough for me.

Other thing Bills has defintely said:-

It's not manufacturers trying to rip anybody off or anything like that. There's nobody getting rich writing software that I know of. - Interview with Dennis Bathory-Kitsz in 80 Microcomputing (1980)

I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system, and possibly program, of all time - OS/2 Programmers Guide, November 1987

There are no significant bugs in our released software that any significant number of users want fixed. … I'm saying we don't do a new version to fix bugs. We don't. Not enough people would buy it. You can take a hundred people using Microsoft Word. Call them up and say "Would you buy a new version because of bugs?" You won't get a single person to say they'd buy a new version because of bugs. We'd never be able to sell a release on that basis. Focus Magazine No. 43 (23 October 1995)

Spam will be a thing of the past in two years' time. BBC News (24 January 2004)

Gary Kildall was one of the original pioneers of the PC revolution. He was a very creative computer scientist who did excellent work. Although we were competitors, I always had tremendous respect for his contributions to the PC industry. His untimely death was very unfortunate and he and his work will be missed - The Computer Chronicles. "Special Edition: Gary Kildall." 1995

He is divisive. He is manipulative. He is a user. He has taken much from me and the industry. Gary Kildall, in notes for an unpublished memoir Computer Connections.

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WTF?

Bing's director of Brand Entertainment

What?

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Re: Bing's director of Brand Entertainment

hey, it's a brand that regularly entertains us all. possibly not in the way intended, but...

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Anonymous Coward

tabloid version ?

"....violation of company policies related to mismanagement of company assets and vendor procurement..."

Bing Boss' Blag Bung Bang!

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Anonymous Coward

'mismanagement of company assets'

Uh oh, there goes Ballmer as well...

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Mismanagement of company assets?

How can that be? They're only burning through billions a year.

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Trollface

"mismanagement of company assets" Like Windows 8?

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Boffin

64 trillion $ question? * ........ for Maximum Range with Definite Visions

Hadley has had been a key player in getting the Bing engine into the public eye, and reportedly built his strategy around aiming the search engine at consumers, rather than pushing search on technical grounds, as did Google.

I have only one question to ask of Microsoft with regard to the Bing engine ......... Was/Is that still a fundamental, prime core aim for strategic execution at/by Microsoft? Are we to believe that there is now a key future prosperity generation vacancy to be filled at Microsoft, for without SMART IntelAIgent Search Leadership, how on Earth would one provide from CyberSpace that which is needed and/or sought?

* Use a search engine properly, and one has a virtual driver license which betters and trumps the one which permits one to print money, for the latter one does not contain the future intellectual property building blocks of the former and phormer one.

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Re: 64 trillion $ question? * ........ for Maximum Range with Definite Visions

Oops! ..... Ok, sorry, my mistake ..... that is, of course, at least two 64 trillion $ questions, which makes them extremely costly to get wrong and/or ignore when valid, for there are as we all know, others providing answers in the field and in fields being searched/phished/phormed.

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Happy

Re: 64 trillion $ question? * ........ for Maximum Range with Definite Visions

missed you manfromMars, you're a partly understood inspiration...

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Holmes

Where's the beef?

What assets have been mismanaged here? And how?

Do some real reporting, Reg, and go find the facts in this story.

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Re: Where's the beef? Before chastising the Reg...

Make sure you have the facts yourself. Or in other words: Why did you simply assume there ARE more facts?

The article clearly states Microsoft made a very brief statement, all of which is reported. The article EQUALLY clearly notes Microsoft "declined" (meaning "refused") to comment further, or to provide any specific details.

As far as your odd question, "What assets...?", um...what part of Microsoft "declines" to say, hasn't said, isn't saying, and refuses to say, did you not get?

Executives at that high a level, in one of the largest and most influential companies in the world, generally have employment contracts that include Non-Disclosure Agreements. So Microsoft may not (and is not stupid enough to) make any confidential employee information public. As well, providing further details might require MS to make proprietary company information public, which they obviously aren't going to do.

There are plenty of facts in the article, and in Microsoft's statement, for a thorough and thoughtful reader, or one with a modicum of understanding of corporate law and governance, to make a few simple and, I think, reasonable deductions:

1) It would be unlikely for a corporation 1/10th Microsoft's size, to launch a formal internal investigation of two very high level executives UNLESS it suspected them of criminal activity or egregious breach of contract. Specifically, I mean suspected policy violations severe enough to warrant not only immediate dismissal, but possible criminal charges and/or civil suits to follow.

2) If Microsoft IS considering legal action (and, again, they refuse to say), they know better than to release information that might later be used as evidence. Plus, they can't afford to make any statement that could be used against the company, or jeopardize its chances of prevailing against the defendant(s). For example, if further details were published, they might give Hadley or Carver a legitimate defense in claiming Microsoft had interfered with due process or their right to a fair trial.

Last: the two were in charge of worldwide marketing and brand entertainment, i.e., creating some kind of pop-culture "buzz" around Bing. So the "assets" they mismanaged were both obviously related to their marketing and event budgets, and as stated by MS involved violations of policies governing vendor procurement.

My opinion is the most likely possibilities that would lead to an internal investigation, and to Microsoft, very unusually, stating with absolute confidence there WAS mismanagement of assets and violation of procurement policy, are:

Kickbacks; collusion with vendors allowing them to charge higher commissions then usual; attempting to disguise personal purchases as business purchases; or even the old tricks of creating "fake" vendors and billing them, or giving business to "vendors" they themselves owned or had a business relationship with.

I'm guessing kickbacks and/or collusion. But unless Microsoft DOES file charges, or takes some legal action, we'll never know for sure.

In other words, the "beef" is right there in the Reg article.It's an accurate, complete, straight news story. "News" means "just the facts", with no attempt to offer an opinion or interpretation of the same.

If you want more facts, go look yourself - but stop assuming facts have been omitted just because you didn't get what you wanted.

If you want deductions and guesses, go read an op-ed piece - or the comments here on the Reg.

But don't chastise the Reg for your own failure in making an assumption with no facts to back it up. And consider thinking before commenting next time.

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23456

It's NEVER enough, is it?

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Facepalm

Always check your preferences

These project directors seem quite attuned. They probably just need to clear their cache and they will have brand new algorithms waiting.

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Coat

Vendor procurement?

"..violation of company policies related to mismanagement of company assets and vendor procurement"

Obviously they had Google Apps accounts.

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