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Oracle To Clinch PeopleSoft Acquisition Today
Ellison Immediately Started Cleaning House, Beginning With PeopleSoft's Top Managers
By: Maureen O'Gara
Jan. 7, 2005 12:00 AM
On the strength of 75% of the stock that had been tendered, Oracle took control of PeopleSoft, its swivel-hipped prey, two days before the end of 2004 and immediately started cleaning house, beginning with PeopleSoft's top managers.
Oracle, which expects the deal to close by January 18, is promising to publish a blueprint for the merged companies on January 14. An integration team was reportedly set up within days of PeopleSoft's capitulation on December 12.
PeopleSoft's 11,000-12,000 people are supposed to know whether they still have a job by the end of the month.
PeopleSoft's short-lived co-presidents Kevin Parker and Phillip Wilmington, created when PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway was ousted on October 1, have been fired, replaced by their Oracle counterparts Charles Phillips and Safra Catz. Parker was also PeopleSoft's CFO and, as CFO, was replaced by Oracle CFO Harry You.
PeopleSoft chief marketing officer Nanci Caldwell and general counsel James Shaughnessy were also canned.
PeopleSoft founder and CEO Dave Duffield, who returned to the company when Conway was booted out, resigned early last week while PeopleSoft was still technically an independent company.
He owned 6% of PeopleSoft, valued at $608 million. Maddie's Fund, the animal rescue foundation Duffield started, stands to realize another $95.3 million from the acquisition by virtue of its 3.6 million shares. Duffield abstained from the board vote that turned PeopleSoft over to Oracle.
Duffield, who was chairman, and PeopleSoft directors Aneel Bhusri, Frank Fanzilli, Mike Maples and Cyril Yansouni resigned from the PeopleSoft board and were replaced by Phillips, Catz, You and Oracle general counsel Daniel Cooperman. The appointments give Oracle control of the board.
Outside directors Skip Battle, who headed PeopleSoft's transaction committee called into being to deal with the Oracle's hostile tender offer, and Steven Goldby are expected to resign once the merger closes later this month.
Oracle said late Thursday that it had 97% of PeopleSoft's stock and would close the deal today after a hard-fought 18-month campaign.
Oracle has been counting PeopleSoft revenues as its own since December 29.
It is believed Oracle may have spent upwards of $100 million pursuing PeopleSoft, which it ultimately bought for $10.3 billion in cash, or $26.50 a share.
The real turning point in the 18-month odyssey came when Oracle defeated the Justice Department, which sued to block the acquisition on antitrust grounds. The hero of the day was Latham Watkins, the law firm Oracle hired to defend its position.
To soothe PeopleSoft's skittish users, Phillips and Catz posted a letter on Oracle's web site the other day saying Oracle was committed to supporting PeopleSoft Enterprise 8 "until at least 2013." They said that Oracle had already begun development planning for the Java-based successor product that would combine the Oracle and PeopleSoft product sets.
Meanwhile, in anticipation of the merger, Oracle reportedly removed Ron Wohl, the guy responsible for its applications development, replacing him with John Wookley, the guy responsible for its finance software.
It also reportedly canned the head of its global support services Michael Rocha, moving Juergen Rottler into his job. Rottler's only been at Oracle a few months running its on-demand unit, which had previously been Rocha's job too.
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