Oracle Cuts 5,000 Heads In PeopleSoft 'Integration Plan'

Oracle, the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based database vendor, completed its buyout of PeopleSoft just last week, and was expected to cut anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 employees, eliminating redundancies.

The totals announced Friday were at the high end of that range, and Oracle said the combined company will field a workforce of 50,000.

Employees, as reported by many news sites, started getting notifications today. Most will be notified over the next 10 days, the company said in a statement released after the market close Friday.

"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 last 18 months," said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, in the statement.

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Oracle executives plan to outline more details of its so-called "PeopleSoft Integration Plan" next Tuesday.

Oracle claimed PeopleSoft officially as its own on January 7, after an often-vituperative hostile takeover attempt was launched in June, 2003.

The huge layoffs were expected. Both companies were based in the San Francisco area, with PeopleSoft across the bay in Pleasanton.

Oracle said it intends to keep 90 percent of PeopleSoft's product development and product support staff. And, Ellison, who drove this deal, has said the company will "oversupport" both the current PeopleSoft products as well as the PeopleSoft 8.9, now under development, and the subsequent PeopleSoft 9.0 release.

He and other Oracle executives were forced by adverse publicity to pledge public support for those products after an initial statement seemed to indicate Oracle would dead-end those products and force migrations to its own, less mature e-business applications.

One analyst at the time of the initial offer characterized it more as a "hostage taking" than an acquisition offer.

PeopleSoft's resistance paid off, Oracle's initial $5.1 billion cash bid grew to $10.3 billion.