Charles Phillips – Infor CEO – Innovative Leader and Role Model

Infor is a huge company. It currently has some 70,000 customers and 13,000 employees, and it is growing by the day. Yet Charles Phillips, Infor CEO, runs the company as if it were a startup. In fact, he himself says that he is at the help of the largest startup company in the world. And it certainly is large, being the third largest company of its kind, after Oracle and SAP. Customers span some 194 different countries and has a revenue of around $2.5 billion.


Infor clearly has the makings of being a corporate giant and this means some people believe Phillips may need a reality check. But it seems that Phillips, a former captain in the Marine Corps, knows exactly what he is doing. In fact, he can provide you with an entire list of why his methods work. Phillips worked as Oracle’s President before switching to Infor. Since then, he built one of the world’s strongest executive management teams. Interestingly, all its members started work on the same day, and many came from Oracle as well. Since starting, they added some 2,500 new customers to their books, including Liberty Mutual, Heineken, and Ferrari. Additionally, their licensing revenue has shown consistent 12% quarterly growth.

Phillips, when still President at Oracle, was famous for their highly successful and aggressive acquisition strategy. And it seems that he is applying this to Infor as well, almost instantly acquiring Lawson Software for about $2 billion. In so doing, he added human resources and health care to their industry portfolio.

A Family Feel

One of the things Phillips is proudest of is that he was able to add some 3,000 members of staff to Infor in just 15 months. This included 600 engineers. Additionally, he moved the headquarters of the company to New York City. Professionals see that Infor takes risks and that they are successful, and this has attracted a lot of talent to the company.

Phillips has known many members of his executive team for many years, both professionally and personally. Together, they have often discussed visionary ideas, but were never able to implement them due to the constraints of their respective jobs. By joining forces in Infor, they have been able to change this.

A good example is Infor 10, which is the next generation of software for enterprises. According to Phillips, Infor 10 could not have been created were it not for the fact that they were able to take out $125 million away from the back office, which was then invested in product and engineering. Applications are the place where technology and business strategy come together. Within the tech stack, applications are effectively the top of the food chain. All the other infrastructure that is developed only exists in order to actually run an application. In so doing, Infor has created something that will enable them to fix enterprise software problems that have been around for years. The team is experienced and efficient, as well as being trusted and cohesive. They work as a single, family unit, held together by a shared, innovative goal.