UK: Gurus face mixed fortunes in aftermath of Y2K : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Y2K experts have different measures of success in their attempts to reinvent themselves
Bill Goodwin

Robin Guenier, the man who made his name berating the Government over its policies on the date bug problem, is about to re-emerge as an expert in electronic commerce.

The ex-director of Taskforce 2000 is the latest member of Britain's small band of Y2K gurus to use their expertise and notoriety to launch new careers in other fields.

Guenier, who has been busy lecturing on e-commerce since the start of the year, has also been working behind the scenes as an adviser to dotcom start-ups., an Internet-based information service for doctors, was unveiled this week, with Guenier taking over as chairman. He is also advising a second company which is seeking venture capital backing.

"Doing this is what I have always done - running a business. Launching an e-commerce service is the sort of thing I have always been used to doing. It feels normal," said Guenier.

Guenier joins Co-operation 2000's Martyn Emery, among the pantheon of former year 2000 gurus who are successfully reinventing themselves as e-commerce specialists.

Emery, who has joined application service provider 4thwave, is also running an Internet retailing forum for the BBC, BT and Marks & Spencer, and has plans for e-commerce projects with the governments of Oman and Mauritius.

US year 2000 specialist Peter de Jager has moved from being a Y2K guru to become a "change consultant". He is putting together a monthly newsletter focusing on issues surrounding organisational change.

Karl Feilder, director of Greenwich Mean Time, which provided software to solve Y2K problems on PC networks, has fallen on harder times. Although Feilder is close to a venture capital deal in the US that will allow him to market a range of desktop management software, the funds did not arrive in time to save Greenwich Mean Time's UK branch from liquidation.

Don Cruickshank, chairman of Action 2000, appears to be the biggest beneficiary from Y2K. He has gone on from Action 2000 to head a hard-hitting review in to the banking industry, and more recently has taken over as chairman of the London Stock Exchange.

For the time being, Gwynneth Flower, managing director of Action 2000, seems to have drawn the short straw.

Flower is staying on at the Department of Trade & Industry with a handful of Action 2000 employees, helping to wind up Action 2000 as a company and producing the final reports on the date bug problem for the Government.

-- Jim McAteer (, May 30, 2000

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