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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oracle layoffs, Nov. 2008

Update: See my latest post on Oracle layoffs, January 2009

As I mentioned previously, the Spectator is getting a surge in Google-referred traffic recently for search terms such as "Oracle layoffs." Oracle is not saying anything publicly, but I am getting some feedback from readers.

The latest is that there have been Oracle layoffs in November, but so far they are not affecting delivery people. There was a reduction in force, however, in August that did affect Oracle's consulting unit, which I reported previously.

Again, anyone with more information, please email me or leave a comment on this post.

Update, 1:10 p.m. Tom Steinert-Threlkeld points out that although SAP has not yet cut overall headcount, its employee count in the Americas, excluding acquisitions, has actually fallen slightly in the past nine months. He also quotes SAP's CFO, Werner Brandt, as indicating that SAP layoffs in the future cannot be ruled out. Brandt made the comment in answer to a question at a UBS converence in New York today.

No recent news to my knowledge on layoffs at other enterprise system vendors, such as Infor, Microsoft, IFS, Lawson, QAD, Exact, Glovia, Best, or JDA.

Update, Nov. 20. A spectator reader reports:
I spoke to one of my former coworkers that was just laid off [by Oracle] on Monday and she said that her understanding was that 20% of the Education staff was let go. They were notified by managers early Monday morning and by noon they had each received a packet at home via FedEx with a severance packet. By EOB on Monday email had been cut off. Typical Oracle. Still haven't found any articles on it.

by Frank Scavo, 11/18/2008 08:53:00 AM | permalink | e-mail this!

 Reader Comments:

Frank: The world is different today compared to the past. Technology makes it possible for a smaller work force to do virtually the same job as a larger workforce. As white collar employees are handed pink slips, an employer like SAP or Oracle may be prudent to retain their e-mail records. The records are a valuable asset to the employer, relating to intellectual property, project management, customer relationships and more. --Ben http://legal-beagle.typepad.com/wrights_legal_beagle/2008/10/retain-e-mail-of-former-employees.html
Hey Frank, Oracle are a bunch of animals! Why? They laid off my wife on Monday after 8 years of service and top notch evaluations. She is 3 months pregnant and they knew it, but it didn't matter. They canned her anyway. 11 measly weeks of severance and one more month of medical. COBRA is almost $1,800 per month if she wants to continue the health coverage. Kaiser and other providers won't pick up my wife as an insured until after the pregnancy. Essentially, the whole severance now has to go to health care. These people are sick! Thanks Larry. My buddy works at Microsoft and told me they would never do something this unconscionable. That's Frank.
I was working for the consulting unit of Oracle for almost a year and was 200% billable. I had gone on a trip to India and when I returned, was welcomed by the manager Mr M Natarajan the day I arrived and he said he wanted to have a conf call with me the next morning. When I logged into to mail server before the conf call, I found that my access was gone ! During the call, my manager informed me that there was a reduction in workforce and I was one to go. I have heard of layoffs over the phone before. My manager had been so eager to get me out that the severance package was sent much before the notice !!! The worst thing was that my amex cards were cancelled and even now I am struggling to settle my accounts with the Expenses department and they have no clue as to what is outstanding. I realize now how my manager tricked me into this situation. While I was on vacation, he told me that I was not supposed to submit timesheets. That is probably why I appeared on the top list of unutilitised people even though part of my vaction was unpaid leave. I am happy that I am out of a company that used me...I did not accept the severance package as I need to know what went on ..
There's news that they laidoff couple of people today from their consulting division.
big layoffs at oracle today. across the board and in all departments. RIF
I've been with the company for close to 9 years, including my years at PeopleSoft. I was finally let go today January 9 2009, despite a long history of leadership roles in major projects and multiple awards for utilization.

I was told that over 200 people in the consulting group alone were let go today.

What really disappoints me was the fact that the severance package was capped at 12 weeks, for legacy PeopleSoft employees. Legacy Oracle employees don't have such cap.
I used to work in OracleDirect (Offshore sales division referred to as OD)till last year. I resigned last December to join a much smaller but a MNC consulting firm. Boy! am I glad that I left then. Imagine my surprise today when I find a depressed roomie who was employed in OD till yesterday ask me if I have any openings in my current company. Then I got the dope on what transpired. 82 folks just from the Bangalore Center, dumped in a brutal, unceremonious style. They were just told to pack up and leave…no questions asked. I heard it was a global initiative, and the same happened in OD centers in US, Canada and Romania. What irks me is none of the managers got hit, but some people who have put 2 or more years of consistent performance was let go. The managers in OD are a pampered lot, they just suck up to higher management, do little work and just finger the consultants. Some of them are indisciplined too, and are alcoholics and big time womanizers. When Safra Catz, the ruthlessly efficient CFO crunches the redundancy figures, heads roll. Oracle is extremely aggressive and inhuman just like it’s founder, Uncle Larry; but thats probably the reason why it did so well for the last 30 years.
Yes it is true, many were layoff Jan 9, 2009. I was one of them.
10,000 gone worldwide!
There's been no confirmations of the actual headcount taken. 10,000 is an unlikely number - some groups in Development weren't even aware of the cut made Friday morning. Noone in development that I know of were cut. If it were at that level, more employees would have heard about it.
NA sales and marketing, consulting, and India were hit on Friday. The development layoff is coming later this month. They are breaking the layoff up into pieces to try to avoid WARN rules, etc.
In Oracle - nothing has happened in Romania as speculative above. Needless to say this was not expected from a cash rich co. which is in profits in last quarter as well. I am sure in the long run even ppl will keep that in mind while considering ORACLE as an employer. What say?
Totally skeptical about these rumors... yes, layoffs did indeed begin on Friday 1/9, but I think the claims of a 8,000-person sweep are bloated. I just spoke to a friend at oracle who said he's fine and that this isn't anything serious... but then he conceded he didn't know much, so here's hoping he's right.

Anyway, here's a post that helps to sort the facts from rumors:
I was workin g for a Software Company Called Eagle Creek Software Services,MN.I'm an H1B VISA holder and a month back the HR lady spoke to me about my terminaton over the phone.I was with the company for almost 18monts billable 98% of time.Since I had an H1B VISA I had to run from Pillar to Post in the market get my H1B transferred within a month of my lay off.They just gave me 2 weeks severence pay.Luckily just a week before my lay off my wife had a baby and I think I was so lucky thatwe got the baby when I had the health Insurance.Never join this company as they manage the employees in an unprofessional way.
I honestly do not know how Oracle Consulting can get a single new project in this market with their heavy billing rates. Instead of laying off employees, they could move them to the support or product development groups. The consulting division should not exist in my opinion. Instead, Oracle should use their cheaper partner services for implementations. And yes, trimming needs to occur more at the managerial level. I question why there is one manager for every region when so many consultants have got laid off. The managers dont care what happens at the client site as long as the billing happens. They are really no value ad since they are never actively involved with customers or even in the sales cycle.
It looks like Apps consulting division was more hit than the Middleware/SOA consulting grp. Have heard that FMW grp - Consulting Sales and Delivery grps will get affected by Jan end for sure. They are already pushing their Tech SAs to start acting like Consulting Sales Reps. The CS Reps are getting kicked. Oracle has fairly political culture - so Director/Sr Director level folks still thrive while Consultants(who earn money for the comp) are kicked out.
You are right. I have only seen that directors playing more of a role of Resource Analysts than anything else. I cannot understand why RAs and directors are playing the same role ! Apart from holding bi-weekly meetings and wasting time discussing topics that is never used on the field, I really fail to understand why there are so many directors and senior directors and their value add to the company. I have witnessed one from the West Consulting group visiting a client location. He did not open his mouth and put of a face of some individual who was blessed with extra-ordinary intellectual capacity. If directors cannot sell products, waht are they responsible for? The directors are so money driven that they deprive consultants of mandatory trainings and send them as experts on technologies for which there is no knowledgebase even within Oracle. The greatest challenges is some of these sadistic managers work with the clients to persuade them to use Oracle partners instead of Oracle Consulting, thereby bleeding their consultants to death. What an irony that the greatest enemy for the OWC is OWC sales and managers! Favoritism is what exists in OWC. If you are in the good books of a manager, you can be on bench for 3 months and safe with a job ! And yes, if you are fairly old and know a manager here, you can get in as a FMW architect and claim tohave 25 years of architectural experience, even if you have never heard of SQL Server db in your lifetime!
I heard that Oracle Consulting will not exist in the near future. Is this true?
Unless any client is stupid enough to pay $200 an hour in this economy !
I see a definite pattern to the layoffs. Single women, pregnant women, or talented professionals who maintain a low profile. Basically anybody who is not likely to question or raise a voice is the first to go...
more layoffs came on March 13th...no word in the press on how many or that there even were any...hmmm anyone else hear anything, aside from those of you laid off?
I worked for Oracle for two and half years as a Sales Rep. I can tell you that Oracle layoffs are part of the culture at Oracle. I survived the 4 such layoffs, and I can tell you it was ugly. I had four new managers in this time, had very good friends marched out the door by security, have seen pregnant women be let go, older people let go, new reps etc. There is no mercy at Oracle. If you are not protected by senior management, your days are numbered. I survived only because I had filed an HR grievance and was considered a whistle blower. After that, senior management knew me and appreciated that I blew the whistle on some unsavory characters in the company. As such, I was protected by senior management, and knew when layoffs were coming. I was reassigned territories four times, and had to restart my sales pipeline four times. Try to make quota in a new territory with no leads. Tough tough tough. I unlike many others, left Oracle on my own terms, and moved onto better pastures. Oracle is a good company to have on your resume, if you can survive the culture and layoffs. Use the company to fatten your resume, and your professionalism, but keep your eyes open for better pastures as all times. Lastly, don't ever count on your job, think of it as her today, gone tomorrow.
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