We can’t resist pointing out the irony of Mike Volpe’s new gig.
A memory refresher: Volpe (right) was fired as HubSpot’s chief marketing officer last year after the Cambridge marketing software firm allegedly tried to block publication of a book — “Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble” by writer and former HubSpot employee Dan Lyons — that skewered its “frat-house-meets-cult-compound” culture.
After allegations of extortion and e-mail hacking, the FBI and law firm Goodwin Procter investigated. No charges were filed, but Volpe was let go, CEO Brian Halligan was fined, and vice president Joe Chernov resigned.
Now Volpe has landed another CMO position, this time at Cybereason, a Boston cybersecurity firm. In other words, the guy who lost his job over alleged hacked e-mails is now working for a company that tries to prevent hacked e-mails.
One of Volpe’s goals at Cybereason is to start a cybersecurity podcast. “I’m a big believer that the best way to do marketing today is to create content and not do nearly as much advertising, because people tend to avoid and block out ads,” he says.
“I’m not even sure yet what the topic would be,” Volpe adds. “It could be a news-based show about new developments in our industry, or more of a deep dive into some of the major cybersecurity incidents, like the Sony hack or more recent DNC hack.”
A few cybersecurity podcasts already exist, including Security Nation, hosted by Kyle Flaherty of Boston-based Rapid7, but Volpe believes there is room for another.
“We’re not looking to have an audience of hundreds of millions of people,” says Volpe, who after leaving HubSpot started Operator.VC, an angel fund, and Growth Camp, an entrepreneurs’ conference. “Our audience might be a million people, or it might be 100,000, or 10,000 people who really matter.” — SACHA PFEIFFER
The pay equity law firm
The issue of gender pay equity, and the lack thereof, has been getting a lot of attention recently — with everyone from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to movie star Jennifer Lawrence weighing in — and that means more workers filing lawsuits, and more companies in need of legal help.
The employment law firm Fisher Phillips recently started a practice group devoted to the issue, and one of the three national chairpersons, Cheryl Pinarchick, is based on Boston. Several states have recently passed laws promoting pay parity, including Massachusetts, which forbids employers from asking about a candidate’s salary history but also protects companies if they take steps to fix disparities.
“I don’t think the fact that [Donald] Trump was elected is in any way going to quell this rising tide of equal pay claims that we’re seeing,” Pinarchick says.
These state laws coincide with an upcoming Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requirement that large employers report pay data by race and gender. People filing lawsuits will be able to use this data to support their claims, Pinarchick notes.
The financial services and legal industries in particular have seen an explosion in litigation from women who say they are underpaid, but Pinarchick said this isn’t an issue at Fisher Phillips, where many women hold senior positions: “If anything,” she jokes, “we’d be looking for a bias the other way.” — KATIE JOHNSTON
Bowling for BMC
Jerod Mayo ’s involvement with Boston Medical Center has moved beyond the bowling alley and into the boardroom.
The former New England Patriots linebacker is now the newest member of the hospital’s board of trustees, after joining the board in November.
Norman Stein, BMC’s chief development officer, says hospital officials approached Mayo after he retired from the Pats earlier this year, to see if he would be willing to take on a bigger role with the hospital.
Mayo and his wife, Chantel, have overseen the Mayo Bowl, an annual fund-raiser that draws active and retired Patriots players to the Kings bowling lanes in Dedham, since 2010. The Mayo Bowl has raised at least $1.7 million for BMC over that time.
“He knew us quite well already,” Stein says of Mayo. “He has spent a lot of time here over the years, visiting with kids, walking around, doing surprise visits.”
Mayo also has another connection to the health-care industry: He went to work for Optum, a division of Minnesota-based health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group, in the spring after his last season with the Pats. He is currently a vice president of business development at Optum.
“Jerod represented an extraordinary combination of smarts, seriousness, commitment, and some degree of being well known,” Stein says. “He brought the fullest package of what one could hope for in a board member.” — JON CHESTO
No, CTP hasn’t been hacked
The owners of marketing agency CTP discovered a sure-fire way to boost traffic to their firm’s website: Feature nonprofit organizations on their home page.
CTP has seen visits to the site triple during the past four weeks, compared to the same time in 2015, after the CTP partners — Fred Conover, Chip Tuttle, Grant Pace, and Brian Heffron — decided to essentially hand over their home page to 20 rotating nonprofits.
They already held a party to celebrate their 20th anniversary. But they wanted to do something bigger.
Heffron says: “We said, ‘If we’re going to do something special for the 20th, let’s turn the spotlight off of CTP and turn it on to these people who. . . spend the day trying to help others.’ ”
So they picked out 20 charities to highlight on the agency’s website and its social media channels, through the end of the year. Most were drawn from the ranks of organizations that have been supported by CTP through its pro bono work. (Media companies including Clear Channel Outdoor and the Boston Globe also chipped in, by donating ad space.)
The honorees run the gamut, from global organizations such as Connecticut-based Save the Children to groups such as UTEC, the Lowell organization that helps inner-city teens. “Not surprisingly,” Tuttle says, “they’re more popular than we are.”
— JON CHESTO