Employee fired for talking to journalist about Xbox 360 “Red Ring of Death”

rrodburgess.jpg

Dubbed by our own Brownlee as “one of the greatest fuck ups in hardware history“, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 failures — the storied “Red Ring of Death” — has cost the company a billion dollars in repair expenses and quite possibly one talented executive. Reporter Dean Takahashi wrote a fantastic investigate piece chronicling the failure — and now his prime source, Robert Delaware, is being fired (fair enough) and sued (harsh!).

From Takahashi, writing for VentureBeat:

Delaware, a 29-year-old Seattle resident, expects to face civil charges from his former employer VMC (which tests games for Microsoft) and Microsoft as well. He will likely have to hire a lawyer. Microsoft spokesman David Dennis said the company does not talk about personnel issues.
“I don’t regret it,” he said in a phone call on Thursday. “I’ll fight it. If they want to come after me, bring it on.”

A commenter on VB fairly sums up my feelings on the matter, provided Delaware’s information is accurate:

True that violation of an NDA is obvious grounds for termination, but it should be equally important to note that when someone puts their livelihood on the line to become a whistle blower they automatically deserve a fair amount of credibility. And, lets be clear, while there is a lot of people who will report similar things anonymously, it takes a lot of guts to put your name and reputation on the line, people like this should be commended.

Microsoft fires game test contractor who talked to VentureBeat [VentureBeat.com]

Image: Andrew Burgess

Update:

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10 Responses to Employee fired for talking to journalist about Xbox 360 “Red Ring of Death”

  1. MissAnthropy says:

    I reported this on Gamervision recently. I was sort of appalled that all the comments seemed to be universally AGAINST Delaware for breaking a non-disclosure agreement. It wasn’t really the reaction I would have anticipated about a guy stepping up to bat when the rest of Microsoft wouldn’t.

  2. mightymouse1584 says:

    cheers

  3. mgfarrelly says:

    Suing the guy seems like all kinds of bad news. Any enterprising attorney for this gentleman is going to start putting a lot of very embarrassing (for MS) information out there. Firing him is fair, he did violate their NDA and his terms of employment, but suing him is just a big dumb mess.

  4. dottedzebra says:

    Ha! That’s an awesome picture. I used to work at MS’s Executive Briefing Center and Mr. Ballmer is the only person I’ve ever been afraid of.

  5. mightymouse1584 says:

    who is the guy in the picture?

  6. Rob Beschizza says:

    That’s Steve Ballmer, dude.

  7. arkizzle says:

    #6 Darth Ballmer?

  8. John Markos O'Neill says:

    Brains! Brains! Brains! Brains!

  9. Falcon_Seven says:

    @4 That’s Mr. Ballmer to you.

  10. wayn3w says:

    Who should be credited for the Svengali-Ballmer picture?

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