Gartner analyst told to quit adult site

Director of major IT analyst firm censured over involvement with Asian adult Website
Written by Anand Menon, Contributor

Gartner Asia Pacific research director Joe Sweeney has been asked to relinquish his position as an investor and a member of the board of Jadecool.com, an Asian adult Website.

"Sweeney was informed last week that he needs to divest his investment within Jadecool.com and to immediately resign from the board," Gartner Asia Pacific senior vice president and general manager Rob McKelvey said. He was speaking at the sidelines of a pre-Gartner Summit media briefing.

Sweeney was said to have made positive comments about Jadecool.com to the media -- especially in Hong Kong -- without disclosing his shareholding in the site. Last week, the South China Morning Post said that Sweeney confirmed his position in Jadecool.com.

But Sweeney maintained that he had been upfront about his business interest and had disclosed his "very minimal" involvement in Jadecool.com, SCMP said.

"There has never been any intention to mislead. I do declare this interest. I have never tried to make it a secret," he told SCMP.

McKelvey declined to comment when asked if Gartner would take disciplinary action against Sweeney but said: "Gartner's code of conduct and conflict of interest policy state that an analyst cannot have investments or positions within organisations in the market space for which they're doing analysis."

Sweeney could not be reached for comment.

Gartner Asia Pacific spokesperson Peter Wilson confirmed in a telephone interview that Sweeney would not be attending the two-day Gartner Summit -- Exploiting IT for Business Transformation -- starting on 14 June. He did not provide further details.

Meanwhile, Gartner launched its new research division called GartnerG2 in Singapore. In a statement, Gartner said the new division is aimed at helping business strategists guide and grow their businesses.

At a press briefing, McKelvey said GartnerG2 will initially focus on the automotive, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, media, retail and travel industries in Asia Pacific.

GartnerG2 is expected to be rolled out across the US, Asia and Europe this week.

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