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The Thorpedo is on the move again

Pilgrim Systems plc this morning announced that David Thorpe is leaving the company in order to pursue other interests in the legal IT sector.
Pilgrim’s Chairman & CEO, Jim Cummings explained “it's been a pleasure working with David over the past two and a half years. Between us we shared a very clear vision of things we wanted to achieve within the term of 2-3 years. We very successfully met our joint objectives and I have pleasure in thanking David for his tremendous input to our Board, and we all wish him the very best in the future”
Thorpe commented “Its been great fun working with Jim and his board at Pilgrim, and I now look forward to my next major challenge, having helped take Pilgrim to a very strong market position, which I can see them occupying for many years to come.”

• Thorpe is best known in the UK legal market as the man who put Elite on the map. After leaving Elite, he was with Tikit for a short period before joining Pilgrim. Where next? Current betting is on Chrome River Technologies.

23 replies on “The Thorpedo is on the move again”

It would be interesting to know the details of what has been achieved. The press release is long on praise and short on detail.
It is not immediately clear from press releases in LTi and elsewhere that the achievement was increased sales which is presumably why he was there. Maybe Pilgrim is like Iris in as much as they prefer to keep their business wins quiet.

Can't be that many sites that he hasn't already 'sold' something to, for better or worse… Didn't Aderant lose their head of international sales earlier this year after their global head of sales left? – maybe Thorpe's headed there – or is TCS/SAP the destination?

Is this the same David Thorpe that left AIM, Keensla, Elite, Pilgrim….? next stop VC owned Aderant…? this man has no shame.

Chrome River is a good bet. Surely it can't be another legal PMS vendor as there are not many left who he hasn't already worked for…!!

This product has legs, an all Saas model, a straightforward solution to an everyday task, and lots of ex Elite folks so as they go global they will know about multi currencey, sales tax issues, currency symbols, date formats and paper sizes for printing

excellent, there's nothing like a bit of gossip mongering to brighten up a slow Friday – how about back to Elite…?

i think he also worked for Miles 33, and Tikit of course….do you think he gets confused in presentations…?

well, if you figure he joins a new legal IT firm every 2 years, and with LN-Axxia, Aderant, SOS, Videss and Linetime still available that should take him through to retirement and give him the full set.

You missed out Miles 33. But 6 companies in 30 odd years is not something to be ashamed of surely?

This post looks like it was cut and pasted from the chrome river(“wider than a mile”) web site. Thanks for the advert.

Aderant may be the one. There is a rumour their VC owners are looking to sell up to cover huge losses in the recent carnage of the NYSE. Perhaps he will head up the new takeover, whoever that would be…?

Well Pilgrim appear to have continued the policy of blowing about £300k over a few years 'key' personnel – whose next for the 3 year assignment. Plenty available from IRIS I guess, or hang on a minute is that Vin McMuria I hear in the wings.

Why should it be a matter of shame? Good salespeople represent a company when they believe that company offers the best solution. But companies change – products, service levels, ownership and even company culture can change – and in that case salespeople get to vote with their feet, just like anyone else.

6 companies in 30 years sounds like a pretty solid cv to me, especially when you consider the 12 years David Thorpe spent building up Elite's business in the UK. I wonder how many directors Pilgrim have had in the same period?

Gosh, this is a really odd set of comments. Are you really suggesting that salespeople should only ever have one job in their entire careers? What then happens if they believe the products/services they are supplying are no longer the best in the market? Surely it is more immoral to try and sell something you don't believe in than move on to something you do? We don't know why Thorpe has moved but (assuming he's staying within the legal sector) it's hardly an immoral or unethical thing to change jobs. How many of the posters here are in their one and only jobs?

I thought I'd add a client's perspective to these comments as I suspect most are being posted by David's competitors.
I have bought two systems where David was the sales person; one in the 1980s and another in the mid 1990s. David was with different vendors but that didn't strike me as the least bit odd as second time around I too was with a different law firm. I'm struggling to see what might be 'shameful' about career progression? It happens in every other walk of life. Are all of my firm's lateral hires shameless people?
What I, as a potential buyer, want from any sales pitch is a thorough and clear explanation of a product's capabilities and not an overt 'substance-less' hard sell. Where David has always stood out from the crowd is in his depth of knowledge about how law firms work, the details of what it is he's selling and how the software might be applied to solve business problems. If others in the industry tried to bring their skill levels up, they might also have career paths available to them.
In fact the only thing that has struck me as odd about his career to date was the move to Pilgrim, which I never did understand. I'm certain he will be a tremendous asset to whichever company he is moving to.

A very sucessful PR campaign for David, thank you everyone for participating, “there is only one thing worse than being talked about……………….”

Give this guy a break! I've worked for competitors and also inhouse so I'm bumped into him more than once over the years in a variety of circumstances. He knows his job, he's got vision and he's a good articulate spokesperson both for his own firm (whoever that is at the time) and the industry as a whole.

Now that we know David has joined Aderant, as a (fairly) recent customer I for one welcome this announcement. I hope the title General manager means more than just sales as with a product as complex as this and with such a long lifespan, good account management is essential. Welcome to the challenge David! – Tim

“I hope the title General manager means more than just sales”
Have you ever met David? 😉

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