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Phorms UK CEO Hugo Drayton Steps Down

Posted: 18th Dec, 2008 By: MarkJ
Phorm (WebWise), the controversial system that works with ISPs to monitor what websites you visit for use in targeted advertising campaigns, has lost its UK CEO Hugo Drayton by "mutual consent". The move follows the loss of four more board members earlier this month (here).

Drayton, who will remain an advisor to the Company, has also been joined by two other leavers including the group’s Chief Financial Officer, Lynne Millar and general counsel David Pester. Naturally Phorm has been quick to replace the trio with a new group.

Nan Richards, the ex-president of Turner Broadcasting System Europe (Time Warner), is appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer based in London. Andrew Croxson, formerly of Ingenious Consulting, is appointed Global CFO on an interim basis.

Nick Barnett, currently Phorm's UK Commercial Director, is promoted to the newly created role of UK Managing Director based in London:

Hugo Drayton commented: "My time with Phorm has been exciting and rewarding. Whilst I am looking forward to exploring new challenges in the fast-evolving media world, I am delighted that I will continue to contribute to the dynamic, industry-changing future of Phorm. I am very happy with the progress we've made in recent months with our ISP partners and our advertising and publishing clients. In 2009 we expect that Phorm's Open Internet Exchange (OIX) will be commercially deployed and I am very proud that the team we have established is now fully prepared to deliver on the Company's enormous potential."

Kent Ertugrul, Chief Executive of Phorm, commented: "I am [PLEASED] that we have completed the trial with BT and look forward to moving to the next stage of development. I am confident that we have the right talent at both the Board and executive level to deliver on the huge potential of our technology and the business opportunity that lies ahead. I believe that we are now uniquely placed to lead the introduction of privacy-assured behavioural advertising across the whole of the Internet."

The move may surprise some since Phorm had recently been given a big boost thanks to the completion of BT's trials and its plans for future adoption. However a bump in share prices won't solve Phorms cash flow problems and there is still a lot of pressure emanating from privacy advocates around the web.
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