Google Blogoscoped

Forum

Mark Jen Googlewhacked.

A concerned Google employee [PersonRank 0]

Tuesday, February 8, 2005
15 years ago

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.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Thanks for the information. I've taken this to the front-page.
blogoscoped.com/archive/2005-0 ...

RC [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Shyt. it makes me feel all so bad ;(

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Update to the original post: Google could confirm this to me. Mark Jen is indeed no longer working at Google.

Anonymous Googler [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Just to clarify, I am quite certain that Mark Jen was fired because he revealed confidential information, NOT because he criticized his benefit packages, etc.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Small note: I put back the question mark in the original post – "Mark Jen Fired?" – because Google on my question if it's true only answered "Mark is no longer an employee at Google". I realized there's an offbeat chance he wasn't fired, but that he voluntarily left or something, so just to make sure I put this back to the original post's title.

J. Ho P. [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

This news story makes me mad. Sometimes I hate Google with passion, and this type of firing only confirms my feelings. Yes, I know he signed an agreement like most of do, but not being able to express yourself about your job is just utter bullshit – it's the only thing that keeps some of us sane enough to keep going in our work, dammit.

macsmind [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

I would say that it was a misktake, after all there is nothing more potentially damning for a company that an ex-employee with knowledge and a grudge.

Marc Antony [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

New employee on the job starts a blog and starts posting details about his workplace the very first day?

Most employers have some sort of 'probationary' period to evaluate the employee. Obviously this clown never considered that first impressions count.

At least Google got a chance to see from day one that they had hired someone who could apparently not excercise good judgment. A fine way to make an impression on your new employer – after your first week describing their well-publicized perks as 'thinly veiled timesavers to keep you at work'.

Amazing they let him stay on as long as they did.

Nathan Weinberg [PersonRank 8]

15 years ago #

I'm dissapointed. Not because Google had no right, because it certainly was understandable, but because Google never saw Mark Jen as an opportunity. They could have gotten all of us off their back with just one honest company blogger, and they fired him instead.

Oh, and Phillip, I'm certain he was fired. Remember how he posted about how he bought all this new stuff for his new home? He wasn't intending on leaving anytime soon. Poor shmuck...

jdragon [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

Well, according to their NDA, you're not supposed to disclose company's financial status or info. He obviousl y broke his promise, so they had every right to fire him.

jdragon [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

I wonder if they let him keep his fingers.

justin [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

the news has spread – try typing in "mark jen" in google news.

but i agree with some of the comments above – the guy was a clown and Google were 100 per cent right in firing him.

CompSci student [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Google has definitely lost its status during the last year. Perhaps the money is good, but i would rather work somewhere else like Yahoo, or a startup company.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Yes Justin. I was amazed at the speed by which this travelled... just some hours after it was posted here in the forum, and I took it to the front-page, CNet and many other places were covering it citing Blogoscoped as source.

Justin [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

hey Phillip – this has spread to ZDnet.com!

news.zdnet.co.uk/business/mana ...

ZDNet's headlines get emailed out to thousands of I.T. people (which is how i picked up on it), and your blog is hyperlinked in the article.

Are you sure YOU aren't Mark Jen? You're getting lots of publicity!
:-)

Justin [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archiv ...

jeremy zawodny – "a chat with mark jen".

apparently , Jeremy (of Yahoo) has actually met the guy.

Justin [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

google blogscoped linked on John Batelle's blog.

battellemedia.com/archives/001 ...

Right on [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

He was fired not because he was criticising Google, but because he had put some confidential information from the sales conference on the blog. Nothing strange about, it would have been wrong not to fire him...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

> Are you sure YOU aren't Mark Jen?

If I say "No comment", would that help the conspiracy meme? :)

Justin, great link to Zawodny – I will post an update.

Justin [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

oh dear – Mark Jen was quoted in the New York Post
nypost.com/business/39457.htm

it one thing being quoted on blogs – quite another being quoted on mainstream media...

bernis [PersonRank 2]

15 years ago #

i would fire him too

anonymous [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

It amuses me to hear people like Nathan say that Mark Jen was "an opportunity" for Google. What, like none of the 3000(?) other Googlers know how to blog if and what they want to? There's nothing magical about Mark Jen except that he was willing to disregard company policy and he paid the price for it. And don't mistake whininess for "honesty".

anon again [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Oh, and I'm even more amused to hear the New York Post described as "mainstream media". HA! Good one – oh, but it's not even the real Post, just the on-line edition. So, you know, all the usual really high journalistic standards may not apply, cough-hack-spew.

Justin [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

just came across this in the comments on 99zeros.blogspot.com

"Todd:
i heard that HR in google got over 400 complaints about your blog and other people threatened to quit if you weren't fired immediately."

OUCH!

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

This was also slashdotted today, but even though Google Blogoscoped was named as source, there was no link...

Justin [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

i noticed that myself Philip! Well done. This must be your first ever blog scoop. Folks are linking to you all over the place.

Tei [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Sad.

This something about "blogging" have to care about. Because the world its not perfect.

Journalism its something about journalism people, not everyone its a autor or a journalism. If google need news, will contract news people. This guy whas wrong doying, and Google firing him is dirty-ing his hands. Nothing good can come from this, except maturity.

Another Googler [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Those of you who feel bad for this guy and want to make this into a free speech issue are waaaaaaaay off base. As Googlers, we sign legally binding Non-Disclosure Agreements before we even start here. Jen's comments clearly violated the NDA. He got fired for it. Period, end of story. He blew a great opportunity. Hopefully he'll learn from it...otherwise he's really as dumb as many of us think.

Jacques Marneweck [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

One has to remember that when we get employed we sign NDA's, employment contracts, etc. In certain ways it makes one wonder about various employee employer relationships. Normally when one leaves a company you tend to sign a "standard exit agreement" which reminds you about the NDA, etc. etc.

Charlie O'Donnell [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

I just posted on this over at my www.successblogging.com site. (Shameless plug) Bottom line is that, regardless of whether or not he violated anything legally, this is just unprofessional, and even when you criticize your company, there's a professional and unprofessional way of doing things. For example, Bob Lutz over at GM's Fast Lane blog fully admits to Saturn's shortcomings, but he points out the company's strides in other areas and dedication to getting it right. I'm sure there are lots of things going on at Google that aren't that good, but if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. There are lots of interesting, and even controversial topics re:GOOG that he could have blogged about in a productive and insightful way that I'm sure the company would have been fine with. Ragging on your new company a few weeks after you start--not professional at all.

Fin ten [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

[put at-character here]Another Googler
If i had colleague's like you i would be quitting right away. Fun place it must be, this 'Google'.

Justin [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

FIn Ten – any place of work packed full of PHDs is hyper-competitive. That's just the nature of it.

Reid [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Actually, it seems to me his blog content had nothing to do with it. He said Google was cool with what he wrote, anyway.

Mark placed an ad for his blog on Google's website:


google-blog.dirson.com/images/ ...



Now, keep in mind you can't advertise on Google with the word "Google" in the ad text:


google-blog.dirson.com/images/ ...



Mark worked for the Adsense division... it suggests he may have overridden his requirement or he placed an ad manually and didn't know about this restriction. He broke Google policy.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Reid, Jeremy Zawodny said that yes, he was indeed fired for blogging. As for AdSense, you can request exceptions via the new AdSense configuration menu. So if your keyword is not accepted you can press a button and AdSense support can then possibly grant this exception.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

Forum home

Advertisement

 
Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About
Advertisement

 

This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!