Print 12 comment(s) - last by someguy123.. on Sep 22 at 4:27 PM

Windows Phone Manager Joe Marini not only unwisely spilled confidential information on Twitter, but he also decided to criticize his partner's secret unreleased device.  (Source: Twitter)

Mr. Marini subsequently left the company he joined in 2003 and his high paying manager position.  (Source: Windows Phone Blog)
Engineer spilled details on upcoming phone, offering it some praise, but complaints too

Face it -- we've all made a bone-headed move at one time or another that's had us kicking ourselves the next day.  For Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Phone 7 team manager Joe Marini, that moment must have come two weeks ago, when he posted to Twitter his thoughts on a top secret Windows Phone Mango handset from partner Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V).

On September 7 Mr. Marini posted:

I just got a chance to try out one of the slickest looking #Nokia phones I have ever seen. Soon, you will too! #wp7 [Source]

He followed this with comments on the phone and responded to a question about what he didn't like about it:

@samsabri Overall I would say an 8. Solid feel, good camera, responsive UI, and nice little touches on the body construction. [Source]

@samsabri Yeah, the camera was good, but I didn’t have optimal lighting. I’d like a larger screen too. [Source]

As you might guess Microsoft wasn't thrilled about these developments (it probably was especially bothered by him criticizing a partner's unlaunched product.  A Microsoft policy document (PDF) warns employees to "be smart", when posting to Twitter about their job.  They warn employees not to disclose confidential details to the public.

A Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed to Geekwire that Mr. Marini has left the company after eight years, declining to confirm why he departed and whether the Twitter posts were to blame.

It is unknown if the "secret" phone Mr. Marini was playing with was the widely shown "Sea Ray" prototype, or another model.  Sea Ray did feature a small screen, but to all it the "slickest" Nokia one had seen seems unlikely.  Perhaps Mr. Marini had his hands on brand new Nokia WP7 Mango hardware.  

We should soon find out, as Mango launches in "a week or two".  Microsoft just yesterday posted news of the impending launch of Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango).

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By Breathless on 9/22/2011 9:50:20 AM , Rating: 2
So freakin what?

He didn't release any VERY specific details (specs, etc). He just stated his opinion. Goodness gracious...

RE: ....
By ICBM on 9/22/2011 9:56:55 AM , Rating: 5
Agreed, however I still don't understand people's need to twitter. If you work at a major corporation, it would probably be a good personal rule to not twitter at all.

RE: ....
By Chadder007 on 9/22/2011 10:29:06 AM , Rating: 2
Its good in general to not tweet or post anything concerning work at all.

RE: ....
By amanojaku on 9/22/2011 10:45:04 AM , Rating: 5
It's good in general to not tweet or post anything at all.
Fixed it for you. I can justify Facebook, even though I'm not on it. Twitter, however, serves no purpose. It's a feature that managed to become a website. Technically, Facebook, Goolge+ and every other social networking site has a Twitter-like thing.

RE: ....
By AssBall on 9/22/2011 12:03:19 PM , Rating: 1
Yup. It is a rare case to actually hear about twitter furthering someone's career rather than f-ing it up.

RE: ....
By Etsp on 9/22/2011 12:13:18 PM , Rating: 3
Google "Shi*t my Dad says" as a counter-example. The user would tweet things his dad said that he felt were funny, and his twitter account became massively popular. So popular in fact, that he got a book deal and a TV show themed on it.

RE: ....
By MrBlastman on 9/22/2011 10:41:32 AM , Rating: 2
Well, lets see, he's the Windows 7 Phone Team Manager to start with, thus, he leads by example. Secondly, this partnership with Nokia, well, it might be Nokia's last hope, but, for Microsoft, it would be a major blow to them if this effort fails that at least as I see it, could set them back by several years, if not a decade.

Microsoft NEEDS this to be successful if they want to continue growth.

While it looks benign what the manager said, it was a criticism on Nokia's hardware, not Microsoft's. He had no right to speak of their product when it has not yet been unveiled by the marketing departments. Sorry, I hate to say it, but when it comes to the software/hardware industry--the Suits (aka Marketing) call the shots on when stuff is presented to the public, NOT the production employees.

It wasn't in his place at all to offer these criticisms. He showed extremely poor judgement in doing so. You can't have a manager showing poor judgement on this scale. He could have been reprimanded but I'm willing to bet that Nokia raised a crapstorm (from their executive offices) to Microsoft's executive offices and well, the old saying "Sh!t flows downhill" kind of applies in this case.

The stakes are just too high with this particular partnership.

RE: ....
By Da W on 9/22/2011 1:14:22 PM , Rating: 3
What if... the Windows phone team manager got fired because Windows phone 7 is a commercial faillure?

RE: ....
By MrBlastman on 9/22/2011 1:53:03 PM , Rating: 2
Well that's certainly possible but I'd say Microsoft is a smart enough company to fire those who were really responsible--the Marketing department. They tried but they didn't try hard enough. They were given a second chance with the Nokia deal. If I were Microsoft, I'd throw every cent of their profits at marketing this new arrangement, all twenty three billion of it.

RE: ....
By PrezWeezy on 9/22/2011 3:23:54 PM , Rating: 1
I'm sure MS really doesn't care about him giving critcism. I have heard MS employees say bad things about MS many times in public and online. They care more that he was giving out info on an unlaunched product. It wasn't even the info he gave out, just that he couldn't keep his mouth shut. They are more upset he broke policy than anything I'm sure.
*all of the preceeding is based on my previous interaction with MS employees, not any intimate knowledge of the situation*

RE: ....
By someguy123 on 9/22/2011 4:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
You're right. The fact that he said anything regarding the product, much less criticisms, is just a measure of his self control, or the lack of knowledge he has towards their policies.

Shouldn't take a genius to figure out that a WP7 manager giving criticisms on an unreleased wp7 phone is bad press, especially considering how low their market share is.

By michael2k on 9/22/2011 11:57:25 AM , Rating: 1
If it's his fault that Mobile IE has been so uncompetitive these past several years, he kind of deserves to be let go.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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