Microsoft says:”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 vendor procurement.”
Hadley was general manager, worldwide marketing for Bing which placed him in charge of sponsorship deals while Carver was advertising director. Neither has commented so far.
‘Outside vendors’ includes agency and other marketing services suppliers. Bing’s agencies in the US include Crispin Porter+Bogusky (creative), Wunderman for direct marketing and Interpublic’s Universal for media. JWT handled the launch of Bing before losing the business to CP+B last year.
The departures are unlikely to be the last we hear of this affair. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stepped up its investigations into insider dealing on Wall Street recently with a number of prosecutions and other federal agencies are also turning the scews. Two former Posterscope North America bosses are facing trial on $19.75m fraud charges following an FBI investigation.
Gruhler had been comprehensively sideline by embattled McCann Worldgroup boss Nick Brien last year, shuffled off to be managing partner of a new ‘telecoms practice’ that some doubted actually existed.
Gruhler joined McCann from Bozell in 2003 and had become the agency’s most senior account man on the giant Verizon telecoms account. A sizeable chunk of this moved to Mcgarrybowen last year.
McCann is also a Microsoft agency, handling some Windows Phone work. It will be hoping that Gruhler still thinks fondly of his old employer in his new role at Microsoft.