PeopleSoft CEO Duffield Resigns

by Clint Boulton

The PeopleSoft founder quits one week after PeopleSoft accepts Oracle's $10.3 billion acquisition bid.

PeopleSoft's Chairman and CEO David Duffield resigned from the company on Dec. 21, just one week after PeopleSoft's board agreed to accept Oracle's $10.3 billion acquisition offer.

According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday, Duffield resigned last Tuesday, Dec. 21. The filing provide no more information and PeopleSoft did not respond to calls seeking comment.

Duffield replaced former PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway Oct. 1 after the Pleasanton, Calif., software maker's board of directors fired Conway, citing a loss of confidence in his ability to lead the company.

In a grudge match between former colleagues, Conway staunchly refused to give up control of the company to Oracle for more than a year before he was let go. Conway, who had learned the tech business from Oracle CEO Larry Ellison in the late '80s, was reportedly determined not to go down without a fight.

Conway was let go amid accusations that he inflated financial statistics as investors grew jittery over Oracle's aggressive and hostile bid.

Many experts felt Duffield's appointment would pave the way for Oracle's acquisition of PeopleSoft. Two and a half months later, they were proven right.

Duffield's resignation tips off what could be an executive exodus at PeopleSoft as Oracle inches closer to absorbing the company. Oracle will pay $26.50 per share for its rival, higher than its last bid of $24. The deal is expected to close in early January, capping off 18 months of tense legal battles and market unrest that shook PeopleSoft.

Oracle is expected to whittle down thousands of positions it considers redundant. But Ellison promised to extend support for PeopleSoft customers worldwide. The Redwood Shores, Calif., company will enhance PeopleSoft 8 and develop a PeopleSoft 9, as well as enhance JD Edwards 5 and develop a JD Edwards 6.

A look back at some of the key highlights in the fight to merge the business application giants may be viewed here.

  This article was originally published on Wednesday Dec 29th 2004
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