Boston’s HubSpot Axes Marketing Exec Over Book Manuscript

[Updated Wednesday, July 29, 10:30pm] Boston-area online marketing business HubSpot, which netted about $114 million from an IPO in October, said late Wednesday it has fired its chief marketing officer and replaced him with Kipp Bodnar, a vice president who started at the company in 2010.

Mike Volpe was terminated from his role at HubSpot, a company he joined in 2007, a year after its founding, “following a determination that Mr. Volpe violated the Company’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics in connection with attempts to procure a draft manuscript of a book involving the Company,” according to a statement HubSpot released Wednesday. Another executive, vice president of content Joe Chernov, apparently resigned before the company’s board of directors could decide whether to fire him for similar reasons, the statement says.

Bodnar has replaced Volpe on the company website’s list of executives, alongside a note that characterizes HubSpot as “unreasonably picky about our peers. This sentiment applies to our executives as well.”

After nine years as a private company and raising some $100 million in private capital, Cambridge, MA-based HubSpot raised funding from the public markets in 2014. The company has grown revenues, more than doubling 2012’s $51.6 million to $115.9 million last year, according to a regulatory filing. Still, its net loss has more than doubled from $18.8 million in 2012 to $48.2 million a year ago.

When Salesforce, which had joined a $32 million investment round in HubSpot, paid $2.5 billion to acquire marketing software company ExactTarget, HubSpot Chief Executive Brian Halligan marketed the discomfort of Salesforce buying another marketing company as motivation.

Halligan seemed less proactive in this situation, according to today’s statement. The company’s board said that Halligan did not report Volpe and Chernov’s intentions in a timely matter despite being made aware of them recently. While the board decided Halligan’s actions didn’t impede the review of the departed duo’s actions, he has been subsequently “sanctioned,” according to the statement.

HubSpot has made efforts to expand to international markets. And the company was a moderately active acquirer as it grew before its public offering.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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