Charles Phillips and His Emergence as Infor CEO

Infor is a company that creates software applications, focusing specifically on the midmarket. Their CEO is Charles Phillips, who was previously President at Oracle. Oracle, meanwhile, is a direct competitor of Infor, which makes this an incredibly interesting situation.


Under Charles Phillips Oracle made a number of fantastic advances. This was mainly due to the huge number of acquisitions he made in his time there. However, when he stepped down, it didn’t take long for Oracle to find a new president, being Mark Hurd, who was previously CEO of HP. That said, Phillips himself didn’t sit still either, promptly taking over at Infor, where he started to make acquisitions again. He also sits on the board of directors, which further solidifies his position.

Infor’s previous CEO was Jim Schaper. He stayed on to head the strategic development of the company. Furthermore, Golden Gate Capital is the biggest shareholder in Infor, and Schaper is a senior operating partner in that company.

Charles Phillips has a fantastic executive career. He has a skills set that is more diverse than that of any other executive. He has a track record, directly in this industry, that most can only dream of. He is also known for his visionary leadership and unique views and perspective. Added to that, he has Wall Street experience, as well as military experience.

In fact, he has worked in the software industry, in positions of leadership, for some two decades. His most high profile position was with Oracle, where he was able to bring about some 300% growth in just seven years of working there. He is a man known for his acquisitions, acquiring high profile companies such as Siebel Systems, Hyperion Solutions, and BEA Systems.

This tactic, that he has been both feared and respected for, is now also implemented with Infor, where he has already made some huge acquisitions, growing the company to third largest in its niche, after Oracle and SAP. Today, Infor has over 70,000 clients, spread over 125 different countries the world over. Their focus is on specific complex business processes, which they want to understand and automate. They now have around 8,000 members of staff, including some very high profile designers that come from a range of industries, including fashion.

Golden Gate Capital has been particularly pleased with the work Phillips has done since starting as CEO. Very rapidly, the company earned some $2 billion in annual revenue. This was unexpected, as Phillips joined when the company’s trajectory was going through a period of inflection. He came in during the development of InforION, which he has turned into a tremendous success. But he has since already grown the company even further, focusing on areas such as niche-specific software solutions. For example, rather than offering software for the health care industry as a whole, Infor offers solutions for hospitals. And rather than focusing on the hospitality industry, they focus on breweries, to name but a few. In fact, the company aims to add a new niche every 18 months, and they are being true to that aim so far.

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