Software giant Oracle has confirmed that the blood letting – resulting from its acrimonious $10.3 billion takeover of rival PeopleSoft – is to begin, with 5,000 staff, mostly former PeopleSoft employees, losing their jobs.
While the number of jobs lost is slightly lower than anticipated, market watchers say the final number of departures remains uncertain. Oracle executives had initially estimated 6,000 jobs would go in an effort to streamline the combined businesses.
The detailed job losses will bring the total head count down to 50,000 employees worldwide. But analysts say that this could fall lower, with Oracle facing a challenge to hang on to former PeopleSoft staff.
Oracle has said that it intends to retain over 90% of PeopleSoft product development and product support staff, honouring an earlier pledge it would continue to support PeopleSoft customers after the takeover, an area of contention in the run-up to the merger.
“By retaining the vast majority of PeopleSoft technical staff, Oracle will have the resources to deliver on the development and support commitments we have made to PeopleSoft customers over the last 18 months,” said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
But PeopleSoft staff are known to harbour concerns about changing employers. PeopleSoft was famed for its paternalistic approach to employees, while Oracle is frequently considered more hard-nosed and ruthless in its approach.
The remaining PeopleSoft staff will not have taken any comfort from the news that a number of their previous colleagues were informed in letters sent out over the weekend that they had lost their jobs. Conventional wisdom dictates that redundant employees are informed in person.