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The Redemption of a Company and a Person

Silicon Valley and Wall Street veterans alike remember of Charles Phillips for one main thing: 1-800-MR-CHUCK. Phillips wrote prodigious Morgan Stanley reports in the 1990s, becoming the world’s most respected plugged in software analyzer. He advised Morgan Stanley on the internet revolution. A true expert, he because advisor to the stars, speaking to some of the world’s greatest leaders. His business card, which held a personal toll-free number, was passed between the hands of CEOs all over the world. Others copied the number, scribbling it on cocktail napkins. It isn’t quite understood how many people got to see his number, but it is believed that answering the calls kept Phillips incredibly busy. So busy, in fact, that when Larry Ellison contacted him to become Oracle president in 2003, Charles Phillips’ wife Karen told him to go for it straight away. During his time there, he was responsible for Oracle’s record growth, making 70 acquisitions.

Phillips no longer is the wheeler and dealer he once was. He has learned from his slightly arrogant past and has become a more low key personality. However, just because he is no longer constantly in the spotlights, doesn’t mean that he isn’t doing much. In fact, he has been CEO of Infor since 2010, a company that provides business software. He moved the headquarters of this company from Georgia to New York City. The “Chuck” he was known for became “Charles”, and the 1-800 number was no longer passed around.

Phillips was working hard. Infor now runs third behind Oracle and SAP, the two biggest enterprise software providers in the world, quite a feat for such a newly started company. Behind the scenes, he has completely retooled the software, as well as bringing in a whole new management team, including some of his past colleagues from Oracle. Furthermore, he has started to make acquisitions again, the first one being made just four months after he took up office. You can tell that Phillips was a U.S. Marine Corps captain, and you can also clearly see the leftovers of his Silicon Valley and Wall Street mover and shaker days. Now, however, he sees himself as a true leader, and exactly the one he always intended to become.

Now, Infor is made up of the amalgamation of over 30 acquisitions made by Summit Partners and Golden Gate Capital. The company was originally assembled by Golden Gate back in 2002 with the goal of creating true enterprise software, and they seemed to have hit onto something big. When Phillips came to its help, it truly surged. Today, it is linked to over 70,000 companies across the world, which includes Ferrari, Bausch & Lomb, and Heineken. They rang up $2.8 billion worth of revenue. Best of all? Phillips says he is having fun like never before. Clearly, he has not just reinvented himself, he has finally been able to become exactly who he always wanted to be, with Karen, his trusted partner and his wife, at his side.

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