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Phorm Loses UK CEO Hugo Drayton, CFO Lynne Millar

At year's end, UK CEO Hugo Drayton of Phorm will depart the company. The decision was made "by mutual agreement" between himself and the behavioral targeting firm, Drayton said.

Drayton will retain an advisory role with the company. Lynne Millar, CFO, is also resigning.

Phorm partners with internet service providers to build profiles of users' internet habits, then serve relevant ads to them across participating websites. Earlier this month it lost its entire US-based executive team — something representative Alex Laity claimed would make strategic decision-making faster, because remaining decision-makers would be on the same side of the pond.

A similar US-based firm, NebuAd, lost its CEO in September, shortly after a barrage of Congressional probes dismantled the credibility of its business model. (Among other things, Chairman Edward Markey of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet compared the model to spousal abuse.)

With regard to the departures of Drayton and Millar, CEO Kent Ergetrul of Phorm preferred to focus his attention on a successfully-completed live trial of its technology with BT, a UK-based ISP.

"I am […] pleased that we have completed the trial with BT and look forward to moving to the next stage of development" — deployment of Phorm's technology across BT's entire userbase, Ertegrul said.

"I believe that we are now uniquely placed to lead the introduction of privacy-assured behavioral advertising across the whole of the internet."

In April 2008, Phorm defended its name against privacy advocates that accused it of falling afoul of a privacy law called RIPA, developed to protect users against illegal information interception. The UK's Leading Council and Home Office determined Phorm did not violate the ruling.


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