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Information Technology Executive of the Month: Steve Phillpott

Steve Phillpott, an IT executive in San Diego for over 20 years, is the chief information officer for Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. Amylin is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to improving lives of patients through the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines. Amylin has developed and gained approval for two first-in-class medicines for diabetes Symlin and Byetta. Amylin’s research and development activities leverage the company’s expertise in metabolism to develop potential therapies to treat diabetes and obesity. Amylin’s headquarters is in San Diego.

RESUME

Name: Steven Phillpott.

Company: Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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Title: Chief information officer.

Number of Employees: 1500.

Year Founded: 1987.

Role as technology executive: To enable the business to succeed by providing leading edge, yet pragmatic, technology solutions to better run and manage the business.

Education: B.S. in Engineering, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.; MBA in Technology Management.

Birthplace: Honolulu.

Age: 52.

Current residence: Scripps Ranch.

Family: Wife, Rebecca and 3 teenage boys — “My Three Sons.”

BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY

Essential business philosophy: Keep an open mind. Lots of people miss opportunities by not leveraging change.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Invest time in exploring what’s new … even if it’s uncomfortable. Network outside of your industry.

Yardsticks of success: Did we provide value to the business and shareholder.

Goals yet to be achieved: Amylin’s approval of our third investigational diabetes drug by the FDA.

JUDGMENT CALLS

Best business decision: Starting to virtualize (i.e., “cloud computing”) Amylin’s IT environment before it was the “hyped” technology buzzword it is now. We are now well positioned to be agile, flexible and cost effective with regard to technology.

Worst business decision: Not researching the Amylin CIO opportunity earlier.

Toughest business decision: People decisions are always the toughest.

Mentor(s): Former supervisors: Maynard Webb (CIO Gateway, COO eBay, CEO LiveOps): An example of the path from CIO to CEO. Tom Fisher (CTO SuccessFactors) A strong combination of business acumen, technology skills and people management skills.

Word that describes you: Balanced.

TRUE CONFESSIONS

What you like best about your job: Working with great people on a great cause to “change people’s lives.” Technology matters here.

What you like least about your job: Never enough time, money or resources.

Pet peeves: Wasteful spending.

Person most interested in meeting: Albert Einstein, his extraordinary curiosity led to some incredible theories and inventions.

Favorite quote: “I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it. And so it is with you … we are in charge of our attitudes” — Charles R. Swindoll.

Most influential book: “The New Age of Innovation,” by C.K. Prahalad, “The Big Switch,” by Nicholas Carr. Both helped to drive our “Amylin Virtual Data Center” strategy.

Favorite restaurant: Peohe’s on Coronado, an awesome view looking back to the city at sunset.

Favorite way to spend time: With 3 kids and a full-time job … what time is left to spend? This time of year I spend a lot of time on the bicycle getting ready for the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure charity event.

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