Should Hikvision Have Fired Their Marketer?

Hikvision has fired a marketing employee after he surreptitiously criticized IPVM and IPCamTalk.

Case For: He did not follow company social media policy. His actions made Hikvision, as a company, look bad, the antithesis of marketing's role.

Case Against: He was following Hikvision's corporate position that IPVM is 'absolutely unethical', 'anti-everything', and 'always trafficked in nefarious insults'

I think he should have been praised for taking the initiative to follow Hikvision's corporate position and fight back. Firing him sends a contradictory, confusing message about what Hikvision employees should do with such an 'unethical' and 'nefarious' organization.

Vote / Comment below:


imo, firing this misguided marketer is just another example of the weakness of Hik management.

As many have mentioned already, it's not like he/she was adopting a position that wasn't already consistent with Hik managements own stated public position.  The firing offense appears to be that was this person was dumb enough to post to IPCAMtalk from a Hik IP address.

NOTE:  I am assuming that this last statement is true, as there aren't valid user credentials in place on that free site - like there are here at IPVM.

I teach my 13 yr old to own his !@$%# ups - and he understands why this is important to his future growth.

Nobody trusts those that don't.

And further - nobody buys from those that they do not trust.


Hard to say. I find it hard to believe that Hikvision does not have some formal internal policy for employees engaging with IPVM (email/phone/online/etc.). I would also suspect that like most large companies they have a "Code Of Conduct" for employees, and if that is true, this employee likely violated it (say nothing for whoever wrote Hik's blog post).

So, technically, they probably had to fire him. Larger-scale, I hope they recognize that this employee's actions were most likely highly motivated by things he saw and observed internally, and that other employees are likely making the same observations.

Further, these observations of Hikvision's approach to handling statements they do not like cause good employees to leave, and bad/impressionable employees to stay, leaving an organization that it not well-suited to the challenges Hikvision faces ahead.

"So, technically, they probably had to fire him."

I do not disagree with your supporting statements to the claim above. If this person violated existing corporate policies, then this employees actions can certainly be used as the basis for termination.

However - a company that actually values it's employees as humans understands that humans can sometimes makes mistakes.

Here's my take:

If I were Hk, I would have issued some kind of statement regarding their overzealous employee's actions and apologized for said actions.  Firing the employee shows where their corporate values lie.

As an example of a public mistake made by a valued employee, take a look at how Eagle Eye management (and specifically Dean Drako, CEO of Eagle Eye) handled a faux pax by one of their own marketers.

THAT is what leadership is all about, imo.

Reprimanded, absolutely.  Fired, no.  It is a bit harsh.  However, the minute this person took a defensive/aggressive tone in the reprimand session I would bounce them as that would seem to underline a character flaw.

Regardless if you think he was on target with your view of their corporate message, if he was acting in a rogue manner, he deserved to get can, IMO. 

I remember a story from the time that IBM was making laptops. One model had to be pulled just days before a much-publicised launch, due to a major flaw in the software. Not only was there the easily accounted losses due to the cancellation but serious reputational damage occurred.

The software engineer responsible for the failure was hauled up in front of the chief executive who cross-examined him, found out how the error had gone for so long without being recognised and pointed out how the situation could have been avoided.

At the end of the interview, the CEO told the young engineer to make sure that nothing like this ever happened again.

The engineer's jaw dropped, and he blurted out, "you mean you are not going to fire me?"

"Fire you?", Said the CEO, "it's just cost $5 million to train you!".

Now there's a company worth working for.


I have heard variations of this same story attributed to various people.  I do believe it's a myth at this point.

I think I read that in Reader's Digest sometime in the '70s

Absolutely, should be fired.

Hikvision had no choice but to show him the door.  

Not the back one.

If the person was confident they were on-mission by posting then presumably they would not have been fired.  So... they should be following internal corporate social networking policy.  If there wasn't a clearly defined corporate social networking policy then well this person left a divot indicating the boundry and their HR department probably has documented the policy better now (so they don't get a wrongful-termination lawsuit.)