HubSpot now says employees did know details of book incident

Workers at HubSpot's Cambridge office.
Workers at HubSpot's Cambridge office.

A day after firing its chief marketing officer for attempting to improperly get hold of a former employee’s book manuscript, marketing company HubSpot now says a small group of employees knew the details behind its investigation that led to the dismissal.

HubSpot said Wednesday night that it had fired longtime marketing chief Mike Volpe for violating its ethics policies. Another employee, vice president of content Joe Chernov, quit before HubSpot could determine whether he should be dismissed.

The company’s chief executive and cofounder, Brian Halligan, was also sanctioned for knowing about the incident but failing to tell HubSpot’s board of directors quickly enough. The book in question is being written by Dan Lyons, a journalist, author, and former HubSpot marketing employee who also has written screenplays for HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” which lampoons tech-company culture.

HubSpot initially said an outside firm hired to investigate the allegations did not tell anyone at HubSpot the details of its findings, despite the fact that the probe was commissioned by its board of directors. Rather, HubSpot said, the outside firm only disclosed what actions the company should take.

On Thursday morning, HubSpot acknowledged that some of its employees do know what happened. “There is a small group of employees who are now aware of the circumstances under which Mike and Joe sought to obtain the manuscript,” spokeswoman Laura Moran said in an e-mailed statement.

In addition, the company disclosed more details about its investigation, saying it “was conducted by our board and outside legal counsel in conjunction with our in-house counsel.”

Moran declined further comment, and said Halligan would not be available to comment. HubSpot’s stock was trading down about 2 percent at midday Thursday.

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