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PeopleSoft's Conway: Oracle 'Process Is At An End'

Amy Rogers Nazarov

PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway said it was time to get back to work.

"This process is at an end," Conway said in an afternoon conference call with financial analysts. "The board reaffirmed its unanimous support for the previously announced acquisition of J.D. Edwards. The evaluation of the offer is over. PeopleSoft will now move forward confidently with the J.D. Edwards acquisition."

The board's reasons for rejecting the offer, Conway said, included "concern about the likelihood of antitrust scrutiny, [Oracle's] predatory intentions and the [potentially] devastating effect" on PeopleSoft customers.

Oracle Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison said his plan is to acquire PeopleSoft and discontinue PeopleSoft's products and migrate its customers to Oracle's rival suite of business applications.

Conway said that his sales force was invigorated by the challenge set forth by Oracle's hostile takeover attempt, and they are tackling the remaining three weeks of the quarter with renewed vigor.

"We've got business to do," he added.

Conway said that many "sympathetic, surprised, incensed and outraged" PeopleSoft customers had called him in recent days to express their concern about Oracle's move.

"They called to say, 'What can I do to help?' "Conway said.

Conway acknowledged that he had approached Ellison last year "when Oracle was having significant problems with the quality of Oracle 11."

Conway said he offered to acquire the Oracle applications suite "and maintain it and prove it under PeopleSoft," but Ellison said he was not interested in that arrangement.

PeopleSoft closed Thursday at $17.37.

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