Quartet quit Phorm board

LONDON - Targeted ad technology outfit Phorm has announced that its non-executive chairman Steven Heyer, chief operating Officer Virasb Vahidi and two other board members have stepped down, following differences of opinion with chief executive Kent Ertugrul.

Phorm: has emphasised its technology is no threat to users' privacy
Phorm: has emphasised its technology is no threat to users' privacy

The company has appointed Norman Lamont, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, as a non-executive director. It has also named Kip Meek, chairman of the Broadband Stakeholders Group, to its board. Stefan Allesch-Taylor, chief executive of investment bank Fairfax, and Stephen Partridge-Hicks also join the board as non-executive directors.

The two board members who quit are David Dorman and Christopher Lawrence.

Phorm said that Heyer, Dorman, Lawrence and Vahidi are leaving as a result of differences with Ertugrul as to the management and future direction of the company.

Phorm is behind technology that analyses web users' behaviour in a bid to serve up more relevant advertising. The company has been criticised because of fears that its technology will allow internet companies to spy on users. However, it has taken great pains to explain that privacy is one of its major concerns and that because of the way its targeting works, no identifying information is retained on web users.

Ertugrul said: "I would like to thank Steve, Dave, Chris and Virasb for the important contributions they have made to Phorm's development.

Meanwhile, I welcome Lord Lamont, Kip, Stefan and Stephen to the board. They bring extensive experience on government, business, regulatory matters and financial markets. As we move into the next phase of our development, the priority will be to build momentum in the roll-out of our strategy.

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