back to article More execs quit Phorm

When half of Phorm's board quit earlier this month, it was spun as a strategy disagreement between the US and UK operations. But now the firm's London-based UK chief executive has quit too, along with its chief beancounter. UK CEO Hugo Drayton will leave Phorm "by mutual agreement" at the end of this year and continue to act …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Close the door on your way out. Bye

  2. Tony

    Will the last one out

    ..please turn the lights off.

  3. Andrew

    Let me be the first to say...

    Pheck off, phorm/121Media spyware.

  4. Sordid Details

    Privacy-assured behavioural advertising

    Bollocks are bollocks, no matter what words you use.

  5. Riscyrich


    So the captin doesn't go down with the ship....

  6. Dazed and Confused
    Thumb Down

    Just because they quit

    Doesn't mean they should be allowed to escape prosecution.

    They can run but they can't hide

    They should be looking at seeing out their days in jail for stealing BT customer's personal and private data. It's just a pity crucifixion isn't currently available to the courts as a suitable punishment.

  7. Paul Gomme

    Competition... completely bankrupt and ruin them by spring 2009.

    Prize: Your web browsing privacy...

  8. Steve Kay
    Thumb Up


    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha


  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How long now?

    Dwindling cash reserves have been mentioned in a few places now, but does anybody have any idea as to how much time Phorm has left if things keep on proceeding as they are?

  10. Sir Runcible Spoon
    Thumb Down

    Money money money

    The beancounters are the ones with their finger on the pulse of the company's financial status aren't they?

    Leaving are they?

    Company has cash flow problems does it?


    Still, as long as Kent can turn bullshit to gold I'm sure they'll still be financially viable once they post their 2008 tax return.

    Still, he can always count on BT to roll out Webwise to fanfares of farting frogs. I'm sure the money will start pouring in then. /sarcasm

  11. Anonymous Coward


    Mal-Phorm-ed, de-Phorm-ed, Mis-in-Phorm-ed, trans-Phorm-ed and finally con-Phorm-ed.

    No thanks BT.

  12. Paul Cooper

    Rats, ships?

    says it all!

  13. Kieron McCann

    run "phorm' last gasp" ,8,1

    10 IF "ship" = sinking THEN "rats" = leaving

    20 GOTO 10

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a Lovely Xmas Present

    God bless us everyone

  15. Alexander Hanff

    Phorm legal team

    In other news it would appear that Phorm have also replaced their legal team. David Pester is no longer listed as Legal Counsel on Phorm’s web site and appears to have been replaced by Sharon O’Leary and furthermore Teresa Marrero (who used to be listed as VP Commercial Law on Phorm’s web site) has apparently disappeared too.

    Phorm have done a good job of keeping the news about their legal team quiet (presumably they are not required to announce such changes under AIM rules) and I am not one to speculate (OK maybe a little) but one can only assume that things are not as rosy as recent press articles may lead you to believe.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    BT rollout = another cancelled customer...

    Just cancelled with BT and was told by the first operator "what is phorm?" and by the second (after explaining to her what it was too) "you won't have anything to worry about if you aren't doing anything dodgy"

    I'm taking my phone services too, so BT, get stuffed and see you in the next life...

  17. Blasmeme

    Doesn't matter

    Phorm as a company may cease to exist and that is a good thing. It won't really matter though in the long run because for as many companies that go tits up, there are just as many others waiting round the corner to buy their technolgy at a knockdown price. The specs are now out there for any number of organizations to create an off-the-shelf DPI network. It will appear under a different name with a different company. The only difference is that they will be keeping thing a lot quieter after this train wreck.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Still be worried folks !

    I bet you Phorm is just a front for Wacki Jacqui's sooper pooper snooper as it creates a nice easy way to spy on everyone irrespective of opt in or out.

  19. Dominic

    Phorm free ISP's?

    Any suggestions as to which internet provider I should switch to? Phorm free naturally.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Nothing to worry about if you aren't doing anything dodgy....

    Er...... lets correct that shal we:

    AC: "I want to cancel because you are rolling out Phorm"

    Operator: "you don't have anything to worry about if you keep paying us and turn off your modem...."

    Their call centre cluckers are so stupid. Bleating out answers without know what they are talking about. Mainly because anyone who know what their talking about wouldn't do customer services at a call centre.

    Paris, cos she can cluck too.

  21. Chris

    I too am leaving

    Sorry BT, because of Phorm I am moving to Be. Cya!

  22. The Other Steve
    Black Helicopters

    "you won't have anything to worry about if you aren't doing anything dodgy"

    That's either wonderfully inept, or a bit sinister. It's almost friday, so let's go for the tin foil hat version.

    Essentially a restatement of the old "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" straw man, except that as stated it begs, firstly, a thorough exploration of the term "dodgy", to whit - how is 'dodgy' defined, and more importantly, by _whom_ is it defined

    Secondly, what exactly do I have to fear if I _am_ doing something that falls within said definition ? There at least two possibilities that I can see, that my 'dodgy' deeds will be somehow exposed to other people on my network, which is a breach of my supposedly assured privacy, or that my 'dodgy' deeds will noted by my ISP and I shall somehow be punished for them ? Which is also a breach of my supposedly assured privacy, and a massive feature creep totally outwith the stated purpose and the contractual terms currently available.

    Sadly, it's pointless asking these questions of a TSR* since a) they won't know anything, and b) asking them hard questions is about as much fun as microwaving your face.

    *Or anyone else at BT for that matter, since anyone in a position to give straight answers, and there must be some, will just lie.

  23. Cris Page

    Malphormed market

    The only reason that Bt still have anyhting to do with my comms traffic is there is no alternative where I live, We have to have BTw provided broadband, although I am with a Phrom free ISP.

    But let me assure you Mr BT.. if I could remove my traffic from all of your equipment, I would. I have no confidence in a group of companies that willingly associates with spyware providers, nor one that is keen to sacrifice my privacy to fatten the pockets of its shareholders.

    In an ideal world, the network would be in the hands of a central body uninvolved in ANY way with the "end users", that way we might see a leve playing field for ALL the citizens of this country without huge areas that are BT only supplied.

    As for the BT drone that trteed out thje tired "nothing to hide" mantra. Its MY data, Not BT's, and after the secret trials... can they REALLY be trusted with our privacy? I think not, especially when those supposed guardians of our privacy collude with them.

  24. Paul Gomme

    I already left

    I left BT back in June because of Phorm. Moved to Be, and am very happy.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Finish him.....Failtality

    Finish him.....Failtality

    ta ta

  26. Luther Blissett

    Liberty - real and hyperreal

    Checking the Phorm share price (bumbling along at around 300 - down from 3500 in March - the long tail is always long) I see the company registered address is given as Liberty House, W1. Irony, or obsessive marketing, I wonder.

    Is there news as to whether BT's system for rolling-out preserves users' liberty to opt out, rather than simulating an opt-out? Or will it have the Cookie-That-Won't-Die mirroring everyones browsing into Phorm's greedy maw? And if the latter, what might the contract between BT and Phorm say about who picks up the tab if it has to be scrapped and reimplemented later to comply with legal requirements? I've a funny feeling I know the answer to that last one.

  27. Sir Runcible Spoon
    Thumb Up

    How long to live?

    To answer one question posed here...some people have calculated that they should be out of money around

    To answer another question, I moved to Zen and am very happy. Consider as an alternative to Be but whatever floats your boat - just as long as it isn't BT.

    As for drones at BT - they are *told* not to admit they know anything about Phorm.

    Oh, and I like the ,8,1 quote above - that takes me back. Remember the @ loader? it got paradroid up and running in under 3 seconds - you can't do that even now!

  28. Hank

    I was with BT...

    I left when they announced the trial went live. I'm now with Aquiss. UK based help (which I have not needed) and they called me at work to check if all was ok because it had been set up but I was away the week and had not used the connection. How good is that?

    On top of that, great speed and reliability - and one month rolling contract. Worth the couple of quid a month over what I paid BT. They said (in writing) - not using Phorm Webwise now and won't be using it in the future either)

    I'm not against behavioural advertising but I'm damned if I will be phormed as a web user or as a site publisher. Go on BT, launch it, I'm watching for the interception and copying of my intellectual copyright property by you so that your Webwise system can create derivitive works in the profiles of your customers. I will send you the bill annually (don;t want to throw you off and block the site from being phormed too soon do we!)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Estimated time till these individuals are working for an ISP near you?

  30. Tony

    @AC 15:08

    "Estimated time till these individuals are working for an ISP near you?"

    Probably a surprisingly short period. In many industries, you regularly see the same people turning up to work at different companies over a given period. They have wonderful ideas that don't work, so they move on and try them out at another company that's foolish enough to employ them.

    I saw a lot of this in the 80's in the retail trade - people moved from JLP to Sainsburys to Asda to Somerfield, each time punting the same crappy ideas which caused the relevant company serious problems; and then they got kicked out and moved on again.

    Plus ça change

  31. RogueElement
    Paris Hilton

    the titanic

    ... was also both dynamic and unique

  32. Al

    Counting down the days.....

    .... till Phorm goes bankrupt!

    Die Phorm die!

    Letter has been sent to the CPS expressing my wish for a full and complete prosecution of British Telecom.

    I'm sorry Phorm/BT - you simply cannot do just *anything* you feel like because you think you can make money out of it! Why don't you all try to do something *constructive*. Goodbye!

  33. This post has been deleted by its author

  34. James O'Brien
    Thumb Up

    How to read this article

    "When half of Phorm's board quit earlier this month, it was spun as a strategy disagreement between the US and UK operations. But now the firm's London-based UK chief executive has quit too, along with its chief beancounter."

    Read as: Oh shit the merde is starting to hit the proverbial fan. Give us our money please thank you.

    "UK CEO Hugo Drayton will leave Phorm "by mutual agreement" at the end of this year and continue to act as an advisor, the firm told investors this morning. He was notable prior to joining Phorm for launching the "Electronic Telegraph" at Telegraph Media Group during the 1990s."

    Read as: Hell you guys were right about the shit hitting fan, where you guys swindling....erm working now? I want in.

    "Giving his departing quote, Drayton said: "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.""

    Read as: How can we fuck others out of their money before closing shop cause the shit is hitting the fan?

    "Drayton's "UK CEO" title has been replaced with a "deputy CEO" role, reporting to global Phorm CEO Kent Ertugrul. The new job has been taken by Nan Richards, a former Time Warner executive."

    Read as: Lackey

    "Also off today is Lynne Millar, who has resigned as Phorm's chief financial officer. She gave no gushing farewell quote. Millar has been replaced "on an interim basis" by Andrew Croxson, a telecoms consultant."

    Read as: For my farewell I want to thank those who made me rich. Now wheres the liferaft off this sinking ship?

    "As we've noted before, Phorm's most immediate problems are lack of revenue and rapidly dwindling cash reserves. Ertugrul said: "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."

    Read as: Oh shit we have no cash left, we're fucked, lets get out of here before the Po-po come.

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

    Read as: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH thanks for making us stinking rich for nothing.

    "BT's third trial of Phorm's system ended on December 10. It said it plans to proceed to a full rollout across its retail broadband network next year."

    Read as: Hell we paid for it we might as well use it now since we just got boned.

    I may be from the states but I feel for you guys over there. Sorry for the long post but felt the clarification was needed.

  35. SilverWave
    Thumb Up

    Die Phorm die!

    This is so good :)

    Almost out of money eh?

    All those dreams of riches turning to ash?

    hehe :P

  36. John Munyard


    I'm sorry I just can't stop laughing.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing short..

    .. of a proper televised demonstration outside the house of parlament will get the bt peopel in question prosecuted under Data Protection laws and wiretapping laws.

    Unfortantly the best way to get more people on your side and the public to listen would be to get the daily mail all souped up about it, the government would listen!

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Any news on...

    Any recent news on where Webwise fits in now that BT Broadband offer either or both of Norton and McAfee internet security packages? What value does Webwise offer the punter that McAfee/Norton (or even free anti-phishing tools as built in to Firefox etc) don't? ???

    Any recent news on the whereabouts of Stratis Scleparis, former BT Retail Chief Technology Officer, who was in charge of BT Broadband technology at the time the secret trials were being denied, who was last seen as CTO at Phorm?

  39. Inachu

    Sharia law for spyware and trojan makers

    I would love to see a law to come into place to cut the hands and feet offf anyone who spreads illicit software that secretly records transmits key strokes and causes mass AD popups and fake software.

    We need to nail them and advertise their real names and home addresses so they have no chance to sleep.

    1 fist to the face = 1 pc infection. lets those arms start swining boys!

    Let them feel our pain.

  40. kain preacher

    So whats going to hapopen first

    Phorm running out of cash or employees.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Here is how to protest:

    When ever we are faced with something like this we should just say post/say/shout/scram;

    'Will the last one out of the country please turn off the lights.'

    I believe it will get to the point quite sufficiently if enough people started to say/post/say/shout/scram this, and then I guess something might have to happen :-) It has already been posted before on this site by someone, and I really do think it hits the nail on the head. I've had enough. Of course we could just come up with some entirely different rather than recycling a Daily Mail headline from the early 90's.

    But if it aint broke why fix it, if it does the job why change it, and the key principle of software needs to be applied to Government:- Keep It Simple, Stupid.

    Enough is enough!

  42. Winkypop Silver badge

    Phorm PR Twonks read this stuff you know

    So, hello there you cockroaches!

    Phuck off!

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We can kill phorm

    We have the power to kill phorm. A publicity campaign to advertise that BT use phorm.

    The other telco's will I'm sure advertise their services as "Phorm Free".

    When BT have lost enough business because of Phorm by people moving to other telco's, then they'll drop it.

    Other telcos should see the opportunity to capitalise on this.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    BT & VM etc are you watching

    Just read the comments above.

    Do you really want this sort of publicity? Is it worth the feathers and tar?

    Be it on your own heads.

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