Microsoft worker who lost his job over Nokia Windows Phone tweets now at Google

By Tom Warren, on 21st Nov 11 9:51 pm with 27 Comments

An ex-Microsoft worker who was forced to resign after he tweeted early about Nokia’s Lumia 800 Windows Phone has started work at Google.

Joe Marini’s departure hit the headlines in September after a series of tweets about Nokia’s Windows Phone device. Marini originally tweeted: “I just got a chance to try out one of the slickest looking #Nokia phones I have ever seen. Soon, you will too! #wp7.” The tweet received a considerable amount of attention and Marini rated the device on a scale of 1-10. “Overall I would say an 8. Solid feel, good camera, responsive UI, and nice little touches on the body construction.” He then went on to explain that “the camera was good, but I didn’t have optimal lighting. I’d like a larger screen too.”

Microsoft was reportedly preparing to fire Marini for improper use of social media and disclosure of confidential information. Marini reportedly resigned before Microsoft was able to take action. Microsoft has a strict social media policy (PDF) that covers the use of networks like Twitter and blogging. The company allegedly fired two workers who were involved in Windows 8 leaks earlier this year. Marini had worked at Microsoft since 2003 and was heavily involved in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 work on Windows Phone. Marini demonstrated a variety of the Windows Phone Mango browser features early on in the development stages on a non-production, engineering ASUS E600 device.

Marini confirmed his job at Google in a Twitter message on Monday. “I’m excited to be starting my new role at Google, driving the Web forward, and to continuing to work with the amazing people I’ve met,” he said. LiveSide reports that his new job is listed as “Google Dev Advocate. Mobile Apps & Web, Product Management and Strategy, API platforms, Developer Relations, Community Engagement.” Marini is expected to be working between Google’s San Francisco and Seattle offices as part of his new role. So what actually happened? Marini says “that’s a blog entry for another time.”

  • Guest

    Not surprised, he was talented. Just made a big mistake and one MS couldn’t overlook.

    • CG

      Give the devil a finger and he takes the whole hand…

    • Guest

      Keep him on and you risk 90K other employees who routinely deal with confidential information of one sort or another deciding the policy is just a suggestion.

    • Guest

      In the interview Google asked him about what is was like to work for Microsoft, he responded by say it was great… he would give MS it a 4 out of 10

    • Guest

      4/10? Sort of like your English skills, huh shill?

  • Emi Cyberschreiber

    well there will be better people than him in the world… so who cares.
    and maybe if he wasn’t an ex-microsoft employer, google wouldn’t have hired him.
    so i dont care, but congratulations to the guy, he has a job, many people dont have one so good for him he found a job fast.

    • Not ice_fusion.

      Google: “So, Mr Marini, tell us everything you know about Microsoft and Windows Phone”
      Joe Marini: “Only if you hire me”
      Google: “Done”

    • Guest

      If he has information that was particularly valuable MS will start proceedings to prevent him from working in a similar capacity at Google, as they have others. But I doubt it. He was pretty low on the totem pole.

    • Anonymous

      He was not low on the totem pole. He was a director level employee at Microsoft. Not an exec but not low on the totem pole. He had been at Microsoft since the days of windows 95 if I am not mistaken so he has a lot of knowledge.

      I think this is just as much a PR play on google’s part as it is a an actual move to fill a need. Joe was doing a good job at keeping the user base informed of the happenings of Windows Phone. Did he cross the line with the Nokia tweet earlier this year? Yes I think he did. He should have known better.

      I think in any other organization with such a documented termination, his career would pretty much be done. At least at the big leagues; however, given the landscape between MS and google these days, he would be a total screw up if he couldn’t land a job at the competition.

      I still say Microsoft should be saying good riddance. If anything he just gave the legal team at Microsoft more reasons to keep pushing against google’s disregard to IP. Afterall, Oracle is claiming that it was ex sun engineers that left Oracle and went to work for Google who gave up the secret sauce. Marini was not an engineer but what difference does it make?

    • Guest


      I thought he was a principal PM? When did that become a Director level job at MS? Anyway, the point stands. If he has strategic information and is going to a similar position at Google, MS will likely intervene as they have before. Otherwise, they won’t. My guess is the latter.

    • Anonymous

      @guest according to his linked in he has held director of product development.

  • Sebastian Gorgon

    Microsoft lost out, Google gained a special someone.  

    • Guest

      Yeah, and HP lost out when it canned Mark Hurd.

    • Guest

      You make the decision on the action, not where the ex-employ might end up.

  • Anonymous

    There is nothing wrong with that I would overlook it and say hey atleast hes hyping up the product. As long as he didn’t give crazy details im cool with it a little leak here and there isn’t a bad thing.

    • Guest

      It’s done. He’s gone. People with access to the full information made a call.

    • Anonymous

      @based_graham:disqus are you even familiar with the situation? He did exactly what you said he shouldn’t do. He not only gave details about an upcoming product, which most likely violated his agreement with MS, the details he devulged were more about a Microsoft partner’s secrets, Nokia.

      Whether he intended or not, he placed the whole Microsoft – Nokia relationship in an unnecessary tight spot.

      Even if Joe Marini was a brilliant, second coming of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, combined, he commited a cardinal sin and knew it. End of story.

    • Guest

      Yeah, well said.

  • Anonymous

    What if he leaks wp7 roadmap to Google

    • Guest

      Given his record, what if he leaks Google’s? #winning.

    • Kit Yeung

      Google have a roadmap on android?! I thought the whole team were just busy in candy stores.

    • Guest

      Well, it’s more an algorithm. It takes whatever Apple or MS come up with and then copies it.

    • Candide Yams

      I imagine that since he was a director-level he had to sign a confidentiality agreement and non-disclosure agreement. MS has a strong suit of lawyers out there. 

    • farsai

      Yeah, why do some people in here think it’s as easy as changing workplace and start spilling the beans on all the former company’s trade secrets :-) It’s a really serious crime, and I for one would not like to be the one standing in court defending myself against being the reason to why a company lost a billion dollars in possible sales :-P Most of us have signed those type of agreements on their workplace, me myself is vowed to a 2 years continuous silence (starting when my employment ends) for just answering a phone :-D

  • Pedro Roque

    Who cares?

  • Helio Gastao

    Microsoft : Please report soldier
    Joe Marini : infiltration was successful sir.
    Microsoft : Good job soldier keep the second phase of the plan.
    Joe Marini : Yes sir.
    Microsoft: End connection.

  • Anonymous

    see, this is what happens when you fire a fan. all of you who said this guy deserved it, well he might have, but in the end it was MSFT’s lost in both talent and PR.

    HR departments world wide should learn: don’t be stupid, it isn’t worth the PR disaster.