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IT veteran and former Oracle chief Charles Phillips offers his tips for leadership success

27 Nov 2012
Infor chief executive Charles Phillips

Charles Phillips - his name will ring a bell for most people in the IT industry. He's a man who has held many successful leadership positions in the IT industry over the last 20 years.

He's also a man who's led a very public career, and that's not just because he was a previous adviser to US president Barack Obama.

Phillips also used to be the president of Oracle and was regarded by some as a possible successor to Larry Ellison, with Phillips responsible for much of Oracle's growth for the seven years after he joined Oracle in 2003.

Phillips was known as Ellison's acquisition mastermind. During his tenure at Oracle, Phillips was responsible for acquiring around 60 software companies, spending more than $30bn.

Despite, this, though, Phillips moved to become chief executive at Infor, a privately held enterprise software firm specialising in niche markets. V3 readers will remember we caught up with Phillips earlier this year to discuss the ongoing developments at the firm.

Catching up with Phillips again later in the year and he divulged that the firm is on track to reach $2.8bn this year. This would mean Infor has grown by $1bn since Phillips started at the firm, a pretty impressive growth rate.

In fact Infor's projected revenue for this year is nearly the same size as Salesforce, which chief executive Marc Benioff has said is expected to earn $3bn this year.

Clearly, from his early days as a captain in the Marine Corps, to his managing days at the Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, his position on numerous boards, and the time he's spent leading Oracle and Infor, Phillips clearly has a knack for leadership and is open about how he achieves success.

"Number one, it's about creating a clear mission about what's important," says Phillips, in an interview with V3.

"For example, we at Infor are all about innovation, and helping companies solve complex problems. We're a private company so we can take more risk, and we try and attract people that have that mind-set."

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Rosalie Marshall

Rosalie Marshall is the special projects editor and chief reporter at V3. Previously she was a reporter for IT Week and channel editor for online television site Rosalie covers government IT, business applications, IT skills, open source technology and social networks.

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