Congratulations, PeopleSoft: You Will Not Be Assimilated

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-02-26 Print this article Print

It's good to be wrong about the inevitability of PeopleSoft getting swallowed by the Borg, a k a Oracle, writes Database Center Site Editor Lisa Vaas.

True, the last time I weighed in on the 20-volume epic Oracle vs. PeopleSoft saga, Larry Ellison et al. had just upped the bid to a healthy $26 per share. The consummation of the deal looked like a shoo-in, barring the DoJs pulling the plug, I wrote. Well, hallelujah and praise be, that did indeed come to pass within the past hours. The DoJ pulled the plug. Click here to read about the Department of Justices decision.
Perhaps it was the cynic in me that foresaw profit pushing PeopleSoft shareholders into the belly of the database beast. Thats what happens when you talk to too many financial services and stockholder types, many of whom said they wanted to get their hot little hands on that money.
And after all, as Oracle President Chuck Phillips told eWEEK Department Editor John S. McCright and Senior Writer Brian Fonseca, plenty of PeopleSoft stockholders told the company theyd "love to have access to the $26 [per share] in cash." Click here to read an earlier, gloomier assessment of PeopleSofts chances. As far as PeopleSofts strategy goes, what once had the aura of egotism now appears to be a blueprint for success in fending off unwelcome advances. PeopleSofts board and executive management dug in its heels, refused to meet with Oracle to discuss the offer, and declined an invitation to attend the J.D. Edwards users conference (a venue that Oracle execs gladly leaped upon). Now that the DoJ has announced its intention to block the $9.4 billion deal, this stubborn, poison pill-like attitude, this "Id rather eat my left foot first" approach, has the markings of genius. Mark my words, tomorrows scholars of corporate governance will be studying PeopleSofts strategy. Next page: The possibility of an Oracle appeal.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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