Oracle to shed 5,000


17 Jan 2005

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The acquisition of PeopleSoft by Oracle will result in 5,000 layoffs across the combined group.

The redundancy programme, which began last Thursday and is expected to be completed within 10 days, will see the size of the joint workforce reduced to 50,000, according to an Oracle statement. The company added that its integration plan was proceeding on schedule.

The layoffs were not unexpected. During the takeover battle, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison made it clear that he would remove PeopleSoft’s entire executive team upon the successful completion of the merger. However, overall, the job cuts were not as swingeing overall as could have been expected. The company said for example that it planned to retain over 90pc of PeopleSoft product development and product support staff. The PeopleSoft development team will finish the development of PeopleSoft Version 8.9 and then begin development of the next upgrade to PeopleSoft products, Version 9.0. The PeopleSoft support teams, with the assistance of the Oracle support organisation, will continue to support PeopleSoft customers around the world.

“By retaining the vast majority of PeopleSoft technical staff, Oracle will have the resources to deliver on the development and support commitments we have made to PeopleSoft customers over the past 18 months,” said Ellison.

Detailed information about Oracle’s applications organisation, product plans, and commercial strategies will be presented to customers and partners tomorrow at the launch of the combined applications business.

Oracle completed its acquisition of PeopleSoft on 7 January 2005, following the completion of a tender offer in which more than 97pc of PeopleSoft’s shareholders tendered their stock.

By Brian Skelly