Edinburgh software business Forrit adds senior Microsoft exec to board of directors

Edinburgh-based software firm Forrit, which recently rebranded from Cortex Worldwide, has unveiled a trio of high-profile appointments to its board of directors including a senior Microsoft executive.
Microsoft's Steven Guggenheimer is one of a trio of board additions. Picture: Derrick Louie.Microsoft's Steven Guggenheimer is one of a trio of board additions. Picture: Derrick Louie.
Microsoft's Steven Guggenheimer is one of a trio of board additions. Picture: Derrick Louie.

The business – led by Peter Proud – has signed up Steven Guggenheimer, corporate vice-president of artificial intelligence and independent software vendor engagement at Microsoft and a recently appointed non-executive director at HSBC Holdings.

Also added are Austen Mulinder, a former corporate vice-president at Microsoft, former chief executive of Ziosk and veteran of multiple start-up and growth company boards; and Carolyn Jameson, chief legal and policy officer at Trustpilot and former chief legal officer at Skyscanner and head of international mergers and acquisitions at Ctrip.

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Proud, formerly a senior executive at Accenture and Microsoft, said the firm is moving “rapidly” from a technology services company to a cloud-first global software business, and has recently secured some “exciting” client wins. “Having Steve, Austen and Carolyn join the board demonstrates our aspirations for the business.”

Guggenheimer said: “Forrit has focused on building the level of product truth that most start-ups struggle to accomplish in their initial phase. Mix this with strong execution and financial discipline and Forrit is set for substantial growth and scale. I look forward to working with Peter and the other board members to help navigate the next phase of the company’s growth.”

Mulinder said: “My own experience of leading and advising growth businesses has constantly reinforced the critical impact of attracting, retaining and developing strong talent. Peter has led the development of a unique culture at Forrit that emphasises talent, and especially young talent.”

Jameson commented: “I have been really impressed at the clarity of focus shown by the team at Forrit as they build their product and their relationships with customers. I am thoroughly looking forward to working with them more, and with my fellow board members.”

Since the onset of Covid-19, Forrit says its platform has supported a five-fold increase in traffic to the Microsoft Education site.

Proud added: “We have worked closely with the Microsoft Education team and its global, multi-language site for a number of years now and while it has always experienced high levels of traffic, what the current spike in traffic shows is the robustness and resilience of our platform - a platform we have continually developed and invested in heavily since we started the company.”

Forrit, founded in 2014, secured a management buyout from WPP in 2017, and has developed a cloud-based web content management platform that enables clients to create, deploy, analyse and optimise their digital estates.

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