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Infor's Charles Phillips appointment indicates "interesting year" ahead

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26th Oct 2010
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Former Oracle co-president Charles Phillips’ decision to head up Infor and help move it into "its next phase of growth" has led to speculation that the ERP vendor could be about to undertake a large merger or acquisition.

Phillips was replaced at Oracle six weeks ago by former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Mark Hurd and will take over from Jim Schaper, who will remain as chairman, but also serve as a senior operating partner at Golden Gate Capital, Infor’s primary shareholder.

Katy Ring, a director at researchers K2 Advisory, said that Phillips, who was formerly a managing director at investment house Morgan Stanley covering the software sector, had a mature, thoughtful leadership style and his arrival alone would help generate additional sales momentum for Infor and its products.

But she added: "It seems to me that he would be largely interested in taking this role in order to manage a large acquisition or merger for the company, in which case 2011 looks like it will be an interesting year for Infor."

The company’s statement about Phillips appointment also reinforced his qualifications in this area, pointing to the key role he played in Oracle’s acquisition strategy, which included the purchase of Bea Systems, Hyperion Solutions and Siebel Systems.

Phillips himself said, meanwhile: "I am eager to lead this proven team of over 8,000 employees through its next phase of growth. In a consolidating industry, Infor has proven acquisition expertise, having successfully integrated over 70 companies."

Infor sells ERP packages to mid-sized companies and currently has more than 70,000 customers in 125 countries. It plans to release new en premise and cloud-based versions of its applications, which will include common workflow, business process monitoring and management functionality, in January.

David Dominik, managing director of Golden Gate Capital, said: "Jim Schaper has been instrumental in growing Infor to a global company with nearly £2 billion in annual revenues today. We welcome Charles’ tremendous management experience at a leading public global technology company and look forward to supporting him as Infor accelerates its growth initiatives."

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