PeopleSoft CEO Ousted for 'Situational Ethics'

The opening of a trial related to Oracle's takeover bid of PeopleSoft featured the revelation that CEO Craig Conway was fired last week for making misleading statements about PeopleSoft's sales.


Click Here

The feisty and assertive Conway told analysts in September of last year that the hostile takeover attempt did not deter sales, according to PeopleSoft board member Steven Goldby, who testified in court Monday.

Golby was quoted in USA Today as saying that Conway's “situational ethics” contributed to his firing. In a deposition provided to PeopleSoft's board late last month, Conway said he downplayed the threat to sales because he was "hoping for a self-fulfilling prophecy."

Goldby also said that he is open to discussing a takeover by Oracle, Bloomberg reported.

“If there's an indication that they would pay what we consider to be the right price, and there's a possibility that we could close the transaction quickly, I'm open to discussions with Oracle,'' Goldby said in testimony at Oracle's suit to knock out PeopleSoft's takeover defenses in Delaware Chancery Court.

“He's speaking for himself,” not for the board, said PeopleSoft's Steve Swasey, director of corporate public relations.

Oracle wants the judge to throw out PeopleSoft's “poison pill” anti-takeover defense, and its guarantee that customers will get $2 billion in refunds if a new owner makes major changes to PeopleSoft's product support.

Legal observers suggest that Oracle is seeking to show that Conway and the PeopleSoft board did not carefully consider the takeover bid.

Conway, who was also fired for his abrasive management style, was replaced by founder David Duffield.

The Justice Department dropped its anti-trust lawsuit against the takeover bid just hours after Conway was fired. The case was one of the major obstacles hindering the takeover attempt.

PeopleSoft says it is performing well even though it is fending off the Oracle takeover. The company expects third-quarter revenue of $680 million to $695 million, compared with analysts' estimates of about $660 million.

You may like these other stories...

As anyone who's ever been through a divorce can attest, the pain of parting with your spouse isn't just emotional—the fallout from divorce can wreak financial havoc as well long after the dust in the courtroom...
Former DOJ Tax Division head Kathryn Keneally joining DLA Piper in New YorkGlobal law firm DLA Piper announced on Thursday that Kathryn Keneally, the former head of the US Justice Department Tax Division, is joining the firm...
OECD calls for coordinated fight against corporate tax avoidanceDavid Jolly of the New York Times reported that dozens of countries with the most advanced economies have agreed on principles for concrete action to prevent...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 24
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.
Sep 30
This webcast will include discussions of important issues in SSARS No. 19 and the current status of proposed changes by the Accounting and Review Services Committee in these statements.
Oct 21
Kristen Rampe will share how to speak and write more effectively by understanding your own and your audience's communication style.
Oct 23
Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.