Phorm falling apart?

Phorm, the behavioural advertising platform, is under pressure as its four board members Stephen Meyer, Virasb Vahidi, David Dorman and Christopher Lawrence have quit "with immediate effect". Phorm said the four "take this action as a result of differences with CEO Kent Ertugrul as to the management and future direction of the company".

To replace them in come former Conservative chancellor Norman Lamont, Broadband Stakeholder Group chairman Kip Meek, Fairfax Investment Bank chairman Stefan Allesch-Taylor and investment management firm Gordian Knot's MD Stephen Partridge-Hicks.

Phorm's first half losses leaped from £10 million (E12.7m) to £15.1 million and, despite raising £32 million in March, it needs to generate some income. In February it had recruited three ISPs, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and BT but since then only BT has actually trialed the targeting technology; Virgin is awaiting the results and others potential partners like Guardian.co.uk and Orange have walked away over privacy concerns.

Meanwhile, the Crown Prosecution Service is looking in to whether BT and Phorm conducted their initial 2006 and 2007 trials unlawfully. It has been cleared once but now authorities are looking again after a private prosecution was lodged by privacy campaigners.

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