Monday, October 11, 2004

Rumor: Duffield in no mood to give in to Oracle

I was at the APICS International Conference in San Diego today, and I heard an interesting bit of gossip regarding Oracle's hostile bid for PeopleSoft. This source, who is outside of PeopleSoft but has connections inside PeopleSoft, said that David Duffield, founder and newly reappointed CEO of PeopleSoft has been indicating to employees that he is adamantly opposed to Oracle's hostile bid.

If this is true, then all the Wall Street analysts that took Duffield's appointment as a sign that PeopleSoft was about to cave in to Oracle are wrong. It also confirms my interpretation of events last week.

Separately, Oracle co-President Safra Catz said today in court that Oracle might drop its offering price for PeopleSoft by one-third to one-fourth. This follows Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's testimony last week that basically said the same thing.

In my opinion, this is a transparent attempt by Oracle to drive down the current share price of PeopleSoft, making Oracle's offer more attractive. It's right in line with Oracle's attempt to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) by launching its hostile bid originally, as indicated in Oracle internal e-mails that the court mistakenly released in unredacted form last week.

Here's a shot I snapped of PeopleSoft's booth at the APICS conference today. A nice booth, in a prime spot next to the main entrance, adjacent to Microsoft's.

PeopleSoft booth at APICS 10-10-2004

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