Letter To PeopleSoft Employees

Oracle finally bags PeopleSoft for US$10.3 billion.

The letter that PeopleSoft CEO Dave Duffield sent to employees (from here):

“This is a sad day for me, and I’m sure an equally sad day for you.

It is now clear that Oracle will acquire our company. Over the past few weeks, our independent directors met with individual stockholders to get their views. We were told during these conversations that they believe Oracle’s $24 wasn’t adequate and did not reflect PeopleSoft’s real value. It became clear to us that the vast majority of our stockholders would accept $26.50 and Oracle was willing to pay for it.

You should know, and I hope you would expect, that I am deeply saddened by this outcome. We have come so far under such trying circumstances over the past 18 months, and especially the past two and a half months. PeopleSoft had gained significant momentum in all areas of our company, including with customers, prospects, and in the financial community.

Over the next few weeks, we will be working with Oracle to ensure that you get answers to as many questions as possible that you have. I believe some of you will find interesting opportunities at Oracle, others will take your talents and work elsewhere in the area that you live, while another group may have difficulties 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.

I know it is little comfort, but I am extraordinarily proud of what we have accomplished over the past 17-plus years, and longer in the case of JD Edwards. And I am even prouder of you for your perseverance and teamwork over the past 18 months.

I make a final request. And that is to continue our work with our heads held high. Whether it’s serving customers, building products or working on internal operations, PeopleSoft and the people at PeopleSoft have built their reputation as a company with class.



Obviously, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is betting that PeopleSoft’s existing customers will not act in the manner in which they said they would, according to an AMR Research survey done 10Dec2004, that states

“Almost two-thirds of PeopleSoft Inc. customers said they will cancel their software-support contracts if Oracle Corp. buys PeopleSoft and stops enhancing its programs, according to a survey by AMR Research Inc.

AMR found that 63 percent of PeopleSoft clients will leave Oracle immediately or as soon as it stops adding to the products if they can get support elsewhere, according to a November survey of 150 PeopleSoft customers by the Boston-based researcher.”

That estimate seems high to me. Switching application vendors is a huge undertaking.

Things to watch for:

– SAP and other vendors putting forth aggressive takeaway efforts
– Chaos in PeopleSoft-oriented consultancies as their PeopleSoft teams scramble to position themselves as Oracle shops
– PeopleSoft partners jockeying for position in the Oracle-centric world