Gartner analyst leaves after adult site scandal

Gartner analyst Joe Sweeney, who used his position to promote an adult Web site of which he was a founder and investor, has left the market research firm, the company confirmed on Monday.

"Joe Sweeney has left the company," said Gartner spokeswoman Alice Ling. Details surrounding Sweeney's departure from the company were not immediately available.

Sweeney had praised Jadecool Ltd., an online go-go bar based in the Philippines, as an example of a successful adult Web site in an interview with CNN and in an article for Asiaweek magazine, raising concerns about his objectivity and professionalism among some industry observers and Gartner customers.

Gartner officials in Asia initially supported Sweeney, saying there was no conflict of interest in his promoting a site in which he held a financial interest. However, Gartner officials in the U.S. later corrected the firm's Asian management team by saying they had "incorrectly represented Gartner policy" with earlier statements indicating there was no conflict of interest and ordered Sweeney to immediately divest his holdings in Jadecool.

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