Morgan Stanley technology worker claims he was sacked over social networking experiment

6 October 2010

A software developer, who was recently sacked by Morgan Stanley, claimed that the bank fired him for the publicity he gained by attempting a social networking experiment on the New York subway, news reports have revealed.

Solomon Lederer spent his morning commute to work attempting to network with fellow travellers by word of mouth and was subsequently the subject of a news report on by the Wall Street Journal’s blog.

Since details of his experiment were featured on the newspaper’s website, the IT worker has been let go from his post.

He claimed that his interaction with the media led to his redundancy and said to the Wall Street Journal: ““I was trying to do a good thing and it backfired”.

Morgan Stanley employs a company policy of not publicly discussing reasons behind the termination of an employee’s contract although a spokesperson for the bank told the news provider that the redundancy was not connected to the news story.

Mr Lederer's 'Underground Connection' experiment involved interacting with other commuters and handing out flyers offering an exchange of certain services.

He wrote on one of the first flyers he distributed earlier in September, said: “I have this idea that we can exchange our knowledge, our resources, our skills, our time, our compassion on the subway. I just don’t know yet how to expand this concept and make it practical for everyone.”

The former-Morgan Stanley employee expects to receive two weeks worth of severance pay as part of his redundancy.

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