Microsoft has seemingly spared no expense on pushing its Bing search engine at star-studded entertainment events, such as the recent Sundance film festival. But those expenses may be key to news today that two Bing executives have been fired for “mismanagement of company assets and vendor procurement,” according to Microsoft.
Ad Age appears to have broken the news of the dismissals. It has a short story with the Microsoft statement now being given to several outlets. Microsoft sent us the same:
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.
Microsoft didn’t respond to who would be taking over, but GeekWire reports that Mike Nichols, a Microsoft general manager, will assume additional duties in the interim.
Age Age ran a short profile of Hadley last October, which summarized:
He’s the one at Microsoft orchestrating splashy sponsorships of events such as Jay-Z’s book launch party and Lebron James’ “The Decision.” And he’s the one signing off on more low-key collaborations, such as one with TV host Maria Menounos, and video spots in New York cabs starring local personalities. The common thread? An attempt to massage Bing deeper into pop-culture consciousness, while staying grounded in a deep appreciation for analytics.
You can view both being briefly interviewed by Comedy Central’s Olivia Munn at Sundance 2010 in this video:
Below, Carver moderates a panel at Sundance earlier this year, which involved snowboarder Kevin Pearce, who suffered a major brain injury in 2009. Pearce was featured in Bing promotional videos that kicked off its new “Bing Is For Doing” campaign this year:
Shown with Pearce is Dr. Holly Ledyard of the University of Utah Medical Center (left) and X Games host Sal Masekela (right). Picture from Sarah Engel of Elegant Disruption.
I’ve always found it remarkable how much Bing appears to have been spending on these type of celebrity events. It’s hard to tell if they work versus other things Bing has done, such as product placements (Colbert Report and Gossip Girl to name only some) or straight advertising that the search engine runs.
The articles below explains more about these, and how Bing has gained market share. But it has done that at the expense of its supposed-partner Yahoo, not by pulling share away from Google.
Postscript: High-Profile Firings Could Temper Bing Ad Strategy from adAge reports this news can have an impact on Bing’s ad strategy.
- The Bing TV Commercials
- Hulu Hosting ‘Bing-A-Thon’ Tonight
- Schmidt: Bing Can’t Buy Search Love With Ads; Gotta Earn It
- Bing Zaps Commercials On The Daily Show (& More Shows Coming Soon)
- Microsoft Doubles Up On Cashback To Give Bing A Boost
- Microsoft Now Promoting Cashback Program With TV Ads
- Bing Offers Free T-Shirts … For Your Xbox Avatar
- Yes, People Do Say “Bing It” — Barely
- Colbert Goes From 0-To-40 “Bing” Mentions In 2 Minutes, For Charity
- Bing It? “Bring It,” Says Google
- Bing Takes Center Court As “Official Decision Engine” For LeBron James
- Microsoft Launches A New Loyalty Program: Bing Rewards
- Bing Set To Advertise During Golden Globe Awards
- Live From Hollywood: It’s Bing & Ryan Seacrest
- Bing Hopes For Touchdown With New ESPN Partnership
- Bing Rewards Now On Bing’s Header Bar
- Google Leads In Search Engines’ Efforts To Woo TV Viewers
- Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Search Engine? Bing’s New TV Ads Have A Ranking/Bass Stop-Motion Flavor
- Search & The 2011 Sundance Film Festival
- Bing Bets On Sports, Entertainment To Attract Gen Y
- Bing’s New Ad Campaign: Bing Is For #Doing