The font of knowledge that is The Daily Bugle Tumblr continues to pour forth possible teases for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Going back to the Smythe family, aka those guys that made the Spider Slayers (and one who eventually took the name for himself in his villain career), the latest post talks about the elder Smythe being fired by Oscorp while the company was under investigation for illegal research.
Alistair, his son and the character being played by B.J. Novak, was promoted into the Director of Robotics position his father held, according to the write-up. This is likely a little "prequel," giving us an idea of how he came to power.
Interestingly, the previous post, which talked about the police investigation being launched, was written by Ned Leeds, who is, in the Marvel Universe, one of the many who have gone by Hobgoblin.