Blogger Mark Jen Fired from Google
A couple weeks ago we reported on how Google disabled an employees blog, because of his blog, ninetyninezeros, was just too revealing. So the story continued, cleaned up the blog, got some publicity and we went on with our lives. Now there are reports over at Google Blogoscoped of a forum post there named Mark Jen Googlewhacked.
From Google Blogoscoped: If Mark was fired, would it be a wrong move by Google? I would say this depends on the details, most importantly, Mark’s contract. If he signed a non-disclosure agreement of any sort, then he shouldn’t have openly spoken about work details. Other Google bloggers seem to handle their work space a little more confidently and do get along fine with their bosses.
It’s another question whether or not this very open blog would have benefited Google’s public image. For example many believe Microsoft’s blogger Robert Scoble has done good things for the company image. And last month, some already applauded Google’s move to handle the Mark Jen issue so relaxed (only certain financial details had to be removed, but otherwise, Mark’s blog stayed intact). The same people might now not look at this so optimistic anymore.
Here is the post, from a member named “aconcernedgoogleemployee”:
I regret to inform you that Mark Jen was fired from Google on Friday, January 28th. I don’t have any details, but I can tell you that he was quietly let go. An e-mail was sent out to the entire company, letting us know that the matter many had written to management expressing their concerns about, had now been taken care of. I initially thought that this meant that Mark had been told to be more careful about discussing company financials, but it soon became apparent that Mark had left the company. I can only assume that his silence since that date means that they either threatened him or cut him a sweet severance deal. Whatever happened, it’s a sad day when you can’t speak openly about both the good and bad at your chosen place of work without getting silenced.
Columnist Barry Schwartz is the Editor of Search Engine Roundtable and President of RustyBrick, Inc., a Web services firm specializing in customized online technology that helps companies decrease costs and increase sales.