Remember back in March when Microsoft announced it was firing two high-profile Bing execs — Eric Hadley and Sean Carver — after an internal investigation showed they had violated what the company said were “policies related to mismanagement of company assets and vendor procurement”?
Now comes word that Hadley has been hired by The Weather Channel as senior vice president, partner solutions and ad trade marketing. He will be responsible for leading the company’s business-to-business marketing and developing large-scale opportunities with premium advertisers, according to a Weather Channel news release.
Hadley is well known in the advertising world and has won numerous awards for his work. He has also been inducted into the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Hall of Achievement.
“This is a huge coup for The Weather Channel. I’ve known Eric from his days at Microsoft, Yahoo! and Heavy, and he is indeed a ‘heavy,’ Weather Channel Executive Vice President Beth Lawrence said in a statement. “He has turned unknown brands into household names and led global brands to even greater success and market share. He will no doubt make magic here at The Weather Channel too.”
At Microsoft, where Hadley spent two stints spanning 11 years, he most recently worked on high-profile, buzz-generating campaigns to raise public awareness of Bing as a search alternative to Google.
Microsoft apparently fired Hadley and Carver after an internal investigation turned up a list of violations of company policies, including “problems with line items and dates on purchase orders related to the three-story Bing Bar in Park City, Utah — Microsoft’s’s celeb hangout during the Sundance Film Festival,” according to an Advertising Age report. Other problems Ad Age reported included a $1 million-plus fee the Bing marketing team paid Co Collective, not a Microsoft-approved vendor, through the Razorfish agency.
We have a request in to speak with Hadley.
[Update 12:11 p.m.: I just spoke with Hadley, who says he’s excited about joining TWC.
“I’ve always been a huge user of TWC,” he said.
He also touted TWC’s strengths for advertisers, including both its national reach and ability to localize, as well as its availability on stationary screens as well as mobile devices.
“There’s great opportunity for big advertisers at the national level,” he said. “And on the local level, an (ad company could say) ‘If it’s snowing in Denver, I want to do that.’ That’s the beauty of The Weather Channel.”
Hadley declined to talk about his dismissal from Microsoft, saying: “They said I did (violate company policies.) … I don’t know. I had a great experience there.”]