What is a hostile takeover? Merriam-Webster defines hostile as an adjective meaning “unfriendly,” and takeover as a verb meaning “to assume control or possession of or responsibility for” (Mich, 1997). In the business arena, a hostile takeover is a stock acquisition in which “management and/or a significant number of shareholders oppose the purchase of the company by the intended buyer” (Fisher, Taylor, & Cheng, 2002). The case of Oracle and PeopleSoft is currently a hostile takeover situation. Meet the Parties
Oracle is the second largest software development company in the world, behind German-based SAP. Oracle develops database and applications software for use in sales, procurement, supply chain manufacturing, and human resources (Ricciuti and Kane, 2003). With 42,000 employees and revenues of $2.6 billion in 2003, Oracle is a thriving company that still has much growth potential (Ricciuti and Kane, 2003). The company is headed by Larry Ellison, both the Chairman and CEO. Ellison, a college dropout, co-founded Oracle in June 1977 and has since become known as the “other software billionaire” (“Larry Ellison,” 2000). Ellison is a straightforward, extremely aggressive businessman whose drive has made Oracle what it is today. The Victim
PeopleSoft is the third largest competitor in the software development market, but there is quite a large gap in both size and sales in comparison with Oracle (Ricciuti and Kane, 2003). Peoplesoft’s product lineup includes software for customer relationship management, human resources, financial management, and supply chain management (Ricciuti and Kane, 2003). At the top of the totem pole for PeopleSoft are CEO Craig Conway and Chairman David Duffield. The pair takes a much different approach than Ellison. Their company is more customer oriented, and lacks the aggressive personalities found at Oracle (Ricciuti and Kane, 2003).