Charles Phillips is an investment banker and enterprise software vendor. He was previously President of Oracle, a position from which he resigned before becoming the CEO of Infor. Under the leadership of Charles Phillips Oracle grew tremendously, particularly thanks to Phillips’ acquisition strategy. This same strategy is now being implemented in Infor, and the company has already set itself apart as the third largest of its kind, after SAP and, obviously, Oracle.
Lessons from the New Infor Position
As soon as Phillips took over Infor, the company seemed to change. This was seemingly overnight, when in reality Phillips simply worked behind the scenes for a considerable amount of time. Today, as the third largest company of its kind, Infor employs over 8,000 people around the world, has more than 70,000 customers, and has a presence in some 125 countries globally. But there were a few key things that started specifically when Phillips took over, which have led to this substantial growth. Those things are:
- That the company’s headquarters were moved from Alpharetta, GA to New York City.
- That the company’s new leader is a very seasoned executive. This executive – Phillips – is someone who believes in tremendous growth through acquisitions, something that he has been very successful in himself. His history at Oracle clearly demonstrates that, but he has had similar views in other positions, including when he was Morgan Stanley’s Managing Director for Enterprise Software Coverage.
- That Charles Phillips is a man known for having a strong focus on service functions, marketing, and sales. He is someone that is seen, particularly by customers, as highly effective. This is also due to the fact that he listens to the concerns of both his customers and his people.
- That Infor’s previous CEO, Jim Schaper, has not quite left the scenes. Rather, he will guide the M&A execution, as well as focusing on the strategic direction of the company. He is also still Chairman, as well as senior operating partner at the company’s largest investor, Golden Gate Capital.
- That Schaper was responsible for the original roll up strategy execution at Infor. The company has now grown to some $2.2 billion in revenues, and the fact that Schaper has made way for Phillips means that he is now focusing on other areas that will help Infor grow to the next level. He believes that doing this has been good for employees, partners, and customers alike.
The Bottom Line
It seems clear that Infor intends to go public. In 2011, they developed a brand new product platform, for starters. Phillips has also made significant changes in the way the Research and Development team operates. As a new CEO, he has created a mid-market software company that is ready to head towards its next inflection points. According to many industry experts, Phillips continues to be the man to watch, and it is believed that he is also looking for further industry veterans to join his team for further substantial growth.