Phillips, Charles E., Jr.
Charles E. Phillips, Jr.
As co-president and director, Charles E. Phillips Jr. took the helm of Oracle Corporation—one of the largest technology providers to business and governments around the world—in 2004. Oracle is a pioneer in relational database management systems, developing systems software, relational databases, and middleware that enable organizations to manage information. Phillips oversaw all global field operations and corporate strategy for the company. His prior work as a technology stock analyst for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter earned him status as an industry expert. Phillips' work philosophy, as he explained it to Black Enterprise, neatly summed up how he blazed a path for himself to become a leader at one of America's most powerful companies. He committed himself to: "having a passion for what you do, being technically prepared all the time, and having a willingness to take risks." His continued commitment to his work boded well for Oracle.
Phillips was born in June of 1959 in Little Rock, Arkansas. A self-professed "gadget guy" all his life, Phillips was fascinated by computers and technology from an early age. He spent his spare time during high school building computers for his friends and family. Phillips was lucky enough to figure out early on what he wanted to do with his life. He knew his career would involve computers, so after high school he joined the Air Force Academy to study computer science and to follow in his father's footsteps. His father had made it clear that he expected one of his four sons to be an Air Force man. Phillips had entered the academy with high hopes, but disappointment came in the form of declining eyesight, forcing Phillips to take a different path. He stayed in the military but switched to the Marine Corps, a difficult transition for Phillips as he found himself in the midst of a starkly new culture. It didn't take long for him to receive an unwelcome chill from the predominately Southern, middle-aged marines he outranked upon arrival on base as a second lieutenant. Phillips was assigned to the data processing and logistics area, managing computer systems, and eventually earning promotion to captain.
Phillips navigated another transition when he left the Marine Corps and went to work on Wall Street. Phillips knew nothing about business stock. The subject had not circulated in the predominantly military neighbor-hoods of his youth; not a soul he knew even owned stock. But possessing an innate sense for the requirements of the work, Phillips had done his homework and felt he would be good at it. After receiving plenty of rejection he finally landed a job with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's Institutional Securities Division. Phillips spent nine years with the company, becoming well known for his acumen in the technology sector. Investors came to rely on his recommendations when making investments in technology stocks. Phillips eventually worked his way to principal, then managing director at the firm.
Phillips had become one of the stars of Wall Street. Institutional Investor magazine named him the number one software analyst for nine years running. Black Enterprise Magazine placed him on their list of "Top 50 African Americans on Wall Street" in 2002. Many in the industry read his articles on the purchasing plans of top CIOs. He had earned the respect of his peers. So, when Oracle CEO Larry Ellison offered Phillips the position of co-president he knew the type of relationships Phillips had nurtured with business and financial leaders. With the company's focus on improved customer interactions and Phillips' track record and experience as a tech analyst, Ellison saw Phillips as the perfect choice. Ellison's choice was grounded in firsthand knowledge. Ellison and Phillips had formed an excellent working relationship over the years. And the New York Times called Phillips one of Oracle's "biggest fans," for his decade of recommendations for the corporation's stock.
Not long after Phillips' arrival at the Silicon Valley Headquarters he scored a big win, receiving credit for wooing investors during Oracle's takeover of its rival, PeopleSoft. The takeover had been a hostile one, starting just a couple of weeks after Phillips joined Oracle. Despite a legal tangle that lasted until 2004, Oracle and Phillips emerged victorious. Though the phenomenal growth experienced by Oracle in the 1990s may have slowed, Phillips' career seemed to have just gotten started.
At a Glance …
Born Charles E. Phillips Jr. in June, 1959, Little Rock, AR. Education: United States Air Force Academy, BS, computer science; Hampton University, MBA; New York Law School, JD, 1993. Military service: U.S. Marine Corps, captain.
Career: Wall Street firms, information technology analyst, 1986–94; Morgan Stanley, principal, 1994–5; managing director, 1995–2003; Oracle Corporation, Redwood Shores, CA, executive vice president, Strategy, Partnerships, and Business Development, 2003–4; president, director, 2004–.
Awards: Institutional Investor magazine, Number One Enterprise Software Industry Analyst, 1994–2003; Black Enterprise magazine, Top 50 African Americans on Wall Street, 2002.
Addresses: Office—Oracle Corporation, 500 Oracle Parkway, Redwood Shores, CA 94065.
Black Enterprise, January 2004, p.41; April 2004, p.26.
Business Week Online, June 25, 2003 p. 1. New York Times, May 17, 2003, p. C3.
Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2003, p. C1.
"Charles E. Phillips Jr," Forbes, www.forbes.com/finance/mktguideapps/personinfo/FromPersonId-PersonTearsheet.jhtml?passedPersonId=880818 (March 01, 2006).
"Oracle Executive Biographies," Oracle, www.oracle.com/corporate/pressroom/html/pressportal/exec/cphillips.html (March 01, 2006).
"Why Oracle Loves a Fight," Business Week Online, http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itw/infomark/835/87/111557961w3/purl=rc1_BCPM_0_A130058133&dyn=6!nxt_2_0_A130058133?sw_aep=itsbtrial (March 10, 2005).
Additional information for this profile was obtained from Oracle Corporation.
"Phillips, Charles E., Jr.." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/phillips-charles-e-jr
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