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Article

Founder Says "Bye Bye" As Oracle Gains Control of PeopleSoft

David Duffield Resigned December 21 as CEO, Chairman, and Director

According to a document just filed with the SEC, the 64 year-old founder of PeopleSoft - David A. Duffield, who stepped in as CEO when Craig Conway was suddenly fired by the PeopleSoft board in October - is no longer with the company. He resigned last week as CEO, chairman, and director in the wake of Oracle's successful $10.3BN tender bid for PeopleSoft's shares.

The news comes just as Oracle has announced that it now controls 75% of all PeopleSoft shares, giving it a controlling stake in the company it fought for 18 months to own.

According to Bloomberg News, if at least 90% of the outstanding shares of PeopleSoft are tendered by January 4 at 8 p.m., Oracle would expect shortly afterward to complete its "second-step" merger.

Duffield's departure was only to be expected, given that on December 13, the day PeopleSoft accepted Oracle's $26.50-a-share offer, he sent a companywide e-mail to PeopleSoft's 11,200 employees saying he was "deeply saddened" about the Oracle takeover:

"You should know, and I hope you would expect, that I am deeply saddened by this outcome. I know it is little comfort, but I am extraordinarily proud of what we've accomplished."
In the e-mail Duffield acknowledged that some PeopleSoft employees would find work with Oracle, while others would move elsewhere...and some, inevitably, would have trouble finding "rewarding job experiences."

"It is to this last group that I offer my sincerest apologies for not figuring out a different conclusion to our 18-month saga," Duffield added.

And now he will need to seek a new and "rewarding job experience" of his own.

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Most Recent Comments
finallysomesanity 12/29/04 10:33:21 AM EST

I have a New Year's wish for the combined company. Let's have PeopleSoft display some of the doggedness and focus of the Oracle team, and have the Oracle team display some of the customer-focus, humbleness of the PeopleSoft team. Imagine a team of laser-focused, customer-minded professionals who happen to care how they treat each other and how they're perceived in the marketplace?

Blow out some of the dead weight in both organizations, including the idiots who think managing by spreadsheet is management, and watch what can happen.

I've worked for both companies (but don't any longer) and feel both needed a shakeup. Put your politics aside and think long-term instead of "I need to win" and there finally, finally may be a viable competitor to SAP. If personal politics and just plain mean-spiritedness rules the merger plans, then this will turn into one expensive fiasco.

Good luck to both companies.

flahwah 12/29/04 10:30:50 AM EST

I was an implementation consultant with PeopleSoft for nearly eight years, I made very good money, and had a lot of fun doing it. I've never worked with a greater bunch of people. Thanks Dave!!

Next Steps 12/29/04 10:10:12 AM EST

So at what point does PSFT find itself de-listed on the Nasdaq? And when does the merger actually become a formal fact?

businessngolf 12/29/04 09:26:13 AM EST

New Year's Resoltions for PeopleSoft Employees:
1. I will not listen to Duffield again
2. I will not listen to Conway again
3. I will get my resume up to speed
4. I will visit the monster.com web site daily
5. I will tell all my customers that Larry really means well.( And smile when I say it)
6. I won't sell my 100% vested options cause they are still worthless (sorry, does not apply to Duffield, McVaney, or Conway -
or the rest of the Board)
7. I will visit Dice.Com daily
8. I will create 8 different resumes, just in case.

Or the other resolution will be, based on how much truth I have been told to date...

1. I will believe all these folks that say I won't get laid off.
2. I will believe the Oracle folks will be half the makeup of those laid off
3. I will toss my resume out the window, I don't have time to update it as I am too busy making Larry, my new best friend, alot of money. And I trust him!!!
4. I will delete all refereces to the Monster and Dice job sites, as my new boss is soooo coool and really wants me to stay. Gosh, I might even get a raise as soon as pigs fly!!

safety blanket 12/29/04 09:07:29 AM EST

Didn't I read somewhere that if they lose their jobs in the takeover, PeopleSoft and Oracle executive officers will receive up to two times their annual base salary and bonus?

Even the fall of rank-and-file employees finding themselves on the street will be cushioned by "tin parachutes" - 12 weeks of salary and health benefits, and the ability to exercise and sell their stock options immediately.

I mean, this isn't ALL bad, right?

ex-Duffield 12/29/04 09:03:49 AM EST

I wonder if Duffield's car has one of those bumper stickers on it that PeopleSoft employees were joking they wanted to put on their cars: "Mean people suck. Fortunately most of them work at Oracle."