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Charles Phillips (businessman)

Charles E Phillips born June 19591 is an American business executive He the CEO of Infor, a company that specializes in enterprise software applications for specific industries2 Prior to joining Infor, Phillips was co-president and director of Oracle Corporation from 2003 through 2010,3 and a managing director in the technology group at Morgan Stanley from 1994 to 2003 He is also a director at Viacom Corporation4


  • 1 Early life and education
  • 2 Career
    • 21 Early career
    • 22 Oracle
    • 23 Infor
  • 3 Advisorships and philanthropy
  • 4 Honors
  • 5 Personal life
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Early life and education

Charles E Phillips, Jr was born in June 1959 in Little Rock, Arkansas,1 where his father was stationed in the Air Force During his childhood his family moved often from state to state, and to Europe as well15

Phillips was fascinated by computers and technology from an early age, and spent his spare time during high school building computers1 His father expected at least one of his four sons to join the Air Force, and Phillips enrolled at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado and earned a BS in computer science in 19811 When his eyesight did not meet the rigorous standard to be a pilot, he accepted a commission in the Marines He joined as a Second Lieutenant, rising to the rank of Captain, and was stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, where he worked on computer systems5

Phillips obtained an MBA from Hampton University in 1986 He also attended New York Law School, obtaining a JD in 1993


Early career

From 1981 to 1986, Phillips was in the US Marine Corps in the 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines artillery unit at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, managing computer systems He had joined as a Second Lieutenant and rose through the ranks to become a Captain1

Phillips began his civilian career in 1986, and he and his wife Karen moved to New York, where his wife had relatives5 He joined BNY Mellon as Vice President of Software, and was at the company for four years He then transferred to SoundView Technology Group, where he was Senior Vice President from 1990 through 1993, and Kidder Peabody, where he was Senior Vice President from 1990 through 1994

In 1994, Phillips joined Morgan Stanley as an enterprise software-industry analyst in the technology group,67 and he was promoted to Managing Director, a role in which he served through 2003

Phillips spent his time on Wall Street nurturing relationships with hedge funders, venture capitalists, private equity executives, technology CEOs, and other business and financial leaders, and gained a reputation for being one of the most aggressive, connected, influential, and prolific technology investment analysts58 Institutional Investor ranked him the number one Enterprise Software Industry Analyst for ten consecutive years, from 1994 to 20031


Among Phillip's industry contacts during his Wall Street years was Oracle Corporation CEO Larry Ellison, who invited him to join Oracle in 2003 Phillips accepted, and served as co-president and director of Oracle from 2003 to 20105

Phillips led Oracle's field organization, and during his tenure he oversaw the company's revenue growth of nearly 300% He also played a key role in Oracle's long series of acquisitions of 70 companies, including PeopleSoft,7 BEA Systems, Hyperion Solutions, and Siebel Systems, among others2 Responsible for Oracle’s sales and acquisitions, Phillips utilized his networking, negotiation, and closing skills,5 and became one of the highest-profile African-Americans in the technology industry in the mid 2000s9 In 2007, InformationWeek called him "Oracle's Secret Weapon"10 After seven years growing the company, Phillips resigned from Oracle in September 201011


In October 2010 Phillips was announced as CEO of Infor, the world’s third largest provider of enterprise applications and services, and the world’s largest privately owned software company121314 He was joined by several high-ranking Oracle executives1516 Within four months of being hired, he led Infor's $2 billion acquisition of Lawson Software, a competitor focused on the health care industry,5 and continued Infor's acquisitions at the rate of two or more per year17 In October 2011, Phillips moved Infor's headquarters from the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta, Georgia to New York City's Silicon Alley518

Phillips immediately set about re-directing Infor and its efforts,19 instilling a corporate culture of camaraderie, goodwill, and reward520 He also focused Infor on excellent design and product coherence,5 establishing product usability and highly attractive modern interface as key components in Infor's software lines1519 To optimize user experience design, Phillips and his team formed Hook & Loop, an internal creative agency of writers, designers, developers, and filmmakers who develop software that is beautiful and user-friendly and has social-media type elements1520 Infor now maintains a design directive of "work is beautiful", and Hook & Loop is one of the largest digital design agencies in New York City2122

To further differentiate Infor from its competitors, including Oracle and SAP, he focused Infor on niche acquisitions: smaller companies, and highly specialized divisions within large corporations that are applicable to "micro-verticals" or unique sub-industries523 Under his direction Infor updated big industry-specific applications from older software languages to Net and Java programming languages24 Phillips also changed Infor's focus from building scale to innovation and products He refocused Infor towards enhanced product integration,1925 and to custom-creating and fine-tuning software for the specific needs of individual industries151826 Within three years of his leadership, Infor launched 300 new products and hired 1,500 new engineers1927 Phillips also directed the company to open-source infrastructure23282930

At the 2014 Amazon Web Services Summit, Phillips gave the keynote address He announced the launch of Infor CloudSuite, the first group of industry-specific application suites to be available on Amazon Web Services's cloud27293132

Advisorships and philanthropy

In February 2009, Phillips was appointed as a member to the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board to provide President Barack Obama and his administration with advice and counsel in addressing the late-2000s recession33

Phillips has made large contributions to non-profits, schools, community groups, and civic groups In 2010, he combined several of his charities into the Phillips Charitable Organization PCO, a non-profit foundation PCO’s primary focus is on helping single parents, wounded veterans, and students working towards engineering, science, technology, or mathematics degrees34 PCO is a major backer of Harlem Village Academies35

Phillips is on the board of directors of the American Museum of Natural History, Viacom, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York Law School, the United States Air Force Academy Endowment Fund, and the Posse Foundation4 He was also a Democratic Party delegate from New York in 20047


  • Institutional Investor's #1 Enterprise Software Industry Analyst 1994–20031
  • Black Enterprise's "Top 50 African Americans on Wall Street" 200236
  • Black Enterprise's "75 Most Powerful African Americans in Corporate America" 200537
  • Arkansas Black Hall of Fame 201238
  • Business Insider's "46 Most Important African-Americans In Technology" 201339
  • Savoy Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America 2012–20144041
  • Crain's 200 Most-Connected Business People in New York 20144243

Personal life

Phillips and his wife Karen, whom he met in high school and married after college, live in Manhattan5 They are jointly involved in philanthropy, including in particular the Phillips Charitable Organization, which they founded together in 2010 They have a son, Chas44


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Kalte, Pamela M ed Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 57 Gale Research Inc, 2007 pp 107–108 reprint: 1
  2. ^ a b "Infor Appoints Charles Phillips as Chief Executive Officer" Inforcom October 25, 2010
  3. ^ Oracle Executive Biography: Charles E Phillips, Jr at the Wayback Machine archived March 4, 2010 Oraclecom 2010
  4. ^ a b Charles E Phillips, Jr – Profile on Bloomberg Businessweek
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Lev-Ram, Michal "The redemption of Charles Phillips" Fortune September 2, 2013
  6. ^ Cafasso, Rosemary "Opportunity knocks: Wall Street sees big potential in data warehousing" Computerworld October 28, 1996 p 121
  7. ^ a b c Smith, Jessie Carney Encyclopedia of African American Business, Volume 2 Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006 pp 656–657
  8. ^ Gilbert, Alorie "Analyst adjusts to life on the other side" CNET News July 11, 2003
  9. ^ Maney, Kevin "Oracle moves into Microsoft's area of expertise" USA Today August 4, 2004
  10. ^ Weier, Mary Hayes "Oracle's Secret Weapon: Charles Phillips" InformationWeek July 27, 2007
  11. ^ "Charles Phillips Resigns as President of Oracle" Marketwired September 6, 2010
  12. ^ "Appointments: Charles Phillips, Chief Executive Officer" Archived July 28, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Business & Leadership October 26, 2010
  13. ^ Woodie, Alex "Infor Commits Itself to Microsoft and Windows Technologies" Archived February 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine IT Jungle June 28, 2010
  14. ^ "Infor Appoints Charles Phillips as Chief Executive Officer" Infor October 25, 2010
  15. ^ a b c d Bort, Julie "How Infor CEO Charles Phillips Is Quietly Becoming The 'Steve Jobs' Of Business Software" Business Insider September 10, 2013
  16. ^ "Infor Appoints 3 New Members to Executive Leadership Team" Wireless News December 15, 2010
  17. ^ Bort, Julie "Ex-Oracle Exec Plots His 'Revenge,' 3 Years Later" Business Insider March 18, 2013
  18. ^ a b Kanaracus, Chris "Infor CEO Charles Phillips Discusses Software Vendor's Remaking" PC World January 10, 2012
  19. ^ a b c d Knorr, Eric "Can Infor upset the Oracle-SAP duopoly" InfoWorld August 5, 2013
  20. ^ a b Greenbaum, Joshua "Infor the Innovator: Is There Room for Another Horse in the Race" Enterprise Application Consulting February 21, 2013
  21. ^ Krigsman, Michael "Infor and 'No Fugly Software': Design as a competitive weapon" Enterprise Irregulars April 28, 2014
  22. ^ Flamm, Matthew "Infor out for Oracle and SAP" Crain's New York Business March 17, 2013
  23. ^ a b Kanaracus, Chris "Infor tries for reinvention with Infor10 software launch" Computerworld September 13, 2011
  24. ^ Swartz, Jon "Charles Phillips' comeback means competition for Oracle" USA Today April 21, 2013
  25. ^ Kanaracus, Chris "Infor Refreshes Its Lineup for 'Micro-Vertical' Industries" CIO February 29, 2012
  26. ^ Dignan, Larry "Infor CEO Phillips talks cloud, UI, and industry focus" ZDNet April 17, 2014
  27. ^ a b Lauchlan, Stuart "Exclusive: a Spanish inquisition with Infor CEO Charles Phillips" Diginomicacom March 12, 2014
  28. ^ Bakker Alex "Executive Insights: An Interview with Charles Phillips, CEO, Infor" Archived July 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Lens360 November 13, 2012
  29. ^ a b "Market Move – Infor runs CloudSuite on AWS - Inflection Point or hot air balloon" Enterprise Software Musings March 30, 2014
  30. ^ Kugel, Robert "Infor at the End of the Beginning" Ventana Research May 4, 2014
  31. ^ Greene, Jay "Facing new rivals, Amazon expands its cloud-computing offerings" Seattle Times March 26, 2014
  32. ^ "Infor Is All In on the AWS Cloud" video 2014 AWS Summit Amazon Web Services
  33. ^ Krangel, Eric "Obama Taps Oracle's Charles Phillips As Economic Adviser ORCL" Business Insider February 9, 2009
  34. ^ Phillips Charitable Organization
  35. ^ "Phillips Charitable Announces Second Year of Grants" PhillipsCharitableorg August 11, 2012
  36. ^ Gibson, Ashley "Analyze This: Charles Phillips makes bold career move to Oracle as executive vice president" Black Enterprise January 1, 2004
  37. ^ Meeks, Kenneth "The 75 Most Powerful African Americans in Corporate America" Black Enterprise February 1, 2005
  38. ^ "Nonprofits" Arkansas Business October 1, 2012
  39. ^ Dickey, Megan Rose "The 46 Most Important African-Americans In Technology" Business Insider April 27, 2014
  40. ^ Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America: Charles Phillips Profile in Savoy magazine SavoyNetworkcom Spring 2014 2012 listing 2; 2013 listing 3
  41. ^ "Savoy Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America" Savoy magazine Spring 2014
  42. ^ Charles E Phillips, Jr Crain's Most Connected New Yorkers Crain's New York Business 2014
  43. ^ Fahey, Mark "Harvard dominates Crain's most-connected schools" Crain's New York Business June 27, 2014
  44. ^ O'Connor, Anahad "Oracle President Admits Affair After Billboards Appear" New York Times blogs January 22, 2010

External links

  • Charles E Phillips, Jr – Profile on Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Phillips Charitable Organization

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