Management Bloodbath at Phorm Amid Government Probe

03 December 2008

LONDON: "Differences of opinion" with Phorm Inc chief executive Kent Ertugrul (pictured) have led to the abrupt exits of the company's chairman Stephen Heyer, chief operating officer Virasb Vahidi and two non-executive directors, David Dorman and Christopher Lawrence.

Ertugrul, a US cyber entrepreneur, is believed to hold 15% of the controversial company which is registered in the accommodating laissez-faire business haven aka the State of Delaware USA. 

Phorm is also an object of interest to Britain's Crown Prosecution Service which recently launched an investigation into the company after privacy campaigners instigated a private prosecution alleging that Phorm's web-tracking software, currently under trial by BT, illegally invaded users' privacy by recording the websites they visited. 

The prosecution was brought under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which prohibits the interception of online data without consent,

Meantime, Ertugrul has not let the grass grow beneath his feet, replacing the two sacked non-executive directors with a trio of respectability figureheads.

The first is former chancellor of the exchequer Lord Norman Lamont [he of 'Black Wednesday' infamy  when in 1992 sterling was KO'd from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism].

The second is Kip Meek, ex-management consultant and erstwhile Ofcom policy partner – the latter job resplendent in its ambiguity.

While the third non-exec is property-developer-cum-broker Stefan Allesch-Taylor, whose fame rests mainly on a much publicized fist-fight with former Tory Chancellor Kenneth Clarke.

This trio, trumpets Ertugrul, "bring extensive experience on government, business, regulatory matters and financial markets".

Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff