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Scottish start-up Cortex rebrands to Forrit, strengthens board of directors and sees fivefold increase in use of its core CMS platform powering Microsoft’s global Education website

Posted: 8th June 2020

Scottish start-up Cortex rebrands to Forrit, strengthens board of directors and sees fivefold increase in use of its core CMS platform powering Microsoft’s global Education website 

Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 8 June 2020 – Founded in 2014, Forrit, which recently rebranded from the company’s previous name Cortex Worldwide, has developed a cloud-based web content management (WCM) platform that enables clients to create, deploy, analyse and optimise their digital estates. The company secured a management buyout from WPP plc in 2017, counts a number of large UK and international enterprise clients among its customer base and is led by CEO and Founder Peter Proud, formerly a senior executive at Accenture and Microsoft. 

In addition, Forrit has announced a series of high profile appointments to its board of directors. Steven Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President of AI & ISV Engagement at Microsoft and a recently appointed non-executive director at HSBC Holdings; Austen Mulinder, a former Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, former CEO 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 M&A at Ctrip.

Steven Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President of AI & ISV Engagement at Microsoft and one of Forrit’s board appointments

“We are moving rapidly from a technology services company to a cloud-first global software business” said Peter Proud. “We have a fantastic team, a best-in-class product and some exciting new UK and international client wins to announce over the next few weeks and months. Overall, we’ve got big ambitions and having Steve, Austen and Carolyn join the board demonstrates our aspirations for the business.” 

“Forrit has focused on building the level of product truth that most start-ups struggle to accomplish in their initial phase,” said Steven Guggenheimer. “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.” 

Austen 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.”

Forrit CEO Peter Proud and COO Jerry Barton with board appointees Steven Guggenheimer, Carolyn Jameson and Austen Mulinder

Carolyn 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’s platform has supported a fivefold increase in traffic to the Microsoft Education site. Liza Magee, Director, Microsoft Education, commented: “The Forrit CMS was a critical instrument to Microsoft Education’s success in launching resources to help our customers quickly make the transition to remote learning. The CMS is well suited to responding to multiple stakeholder inputs in real time and gave us the tools we needed to roll-out a large site expansion, for multiple markets globally, in a very fast turnaround.  The website’s infrastructure Forrit built, on Azure, supported our large traffic spikes, ensuring the user experience was never disrupted.”   

Peter 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.”    

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