PeopleSoft Plans 900 Layoffs After J.D. Edwards Buy

PeopleSoft has laid out plans to integrate newly acquired J.D. Edwards, saying it will cut about 900 workers and consolidate offices. The company also raised its financial outlook for the rest of the year and 2004.

PeopleSoft chief financial officer Kevin Parker said the job cuts will represent a reduction of about 7 percent of the two companies’ total workforce and will leave the combined company with some 12,000 employees worldwide.

He added that the layoffs and additional savings, such as closure of overlapping offices, will save PeopleSoft as much as US$207 million per year going forward. The layoffs will target marketing, back-office information technology and management jobs, he added, with software developers, sales and consulting staffs largely untouched.

“PeopleSoft is on track to go from being dominant in three industries to being dominant in 20,” Parker said.

New Road Map

PeopleSoft said it plans to deploy an “army” of salespeople from both companies to support what will become three distinct product lines: PeopleSoft Enterprise, which will be built around the company’s core offerings; EnterpriseOne, which will be aimed at mid-size companies and will rely heavily on J.D. Edwards products; and PeopleSoft World, a platform aimed at global companies.

In each product category, product offerings from the two companies will be melded.

Gartner analyst Betsy Burton told the E-Commerce Times that J.D. Edwards customers may be the biggest beneficiaries of the newly clarified road map from PeopleSoft. PeopleSoft’s own customers are still waiting for the Oracle deal to be either put to rest or consummated.

“Until the antitrust issues are resolved, the deal is in limbo — and so, to a certain extent, are some customers,” Burton said.

Buying It Back

Pleasanton, California-based PeopleSoft also said it will set out to buy back some $350 million worth of its own stock, a move seen as yet another obstacle to Oracle’s hostile takeover bid.

Oracle responded by saying it remains committed to buying the smaller company and will extend its tender offer of $19.50 per share until October 17th. The offer previously was set to expire in about two weeks. Oracle said 38.7 million shares have been tendered so far.

However, speaking at the analyst conference, PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway suggested it is only a matter of time before the Oracle drama fizzles out.

“I don’t think the Oracle bid is a current issue,” Conway said. “It’s a movie that has been playing a long time. I think people have lost interest in it.”

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