1 October 2004 PeopleSoft, the enterprise business software supplier currently fighting off a hostile takeover from rival Oracle, had fired its CEO and president, Craig Conway.
The decision was made unanimously by the board of directors, and is effective immediately. Dave Duffield, the founder and current chairman of PeopleSoft, will replace Conway. Duffield will continue to serve as chairman of the company.
PeopleSoft’s board of directors said the decision follows a “loss of confidence in Mr. Conway’s ability to continue to lead the company.”
Conway, who joined PeopleSoft in 1999 as CEO, previously worked at Oracle for eight years. He has led the PeopleSoft through its bitter struggle against Oracle for the past 15 months, occasionally taking a strong stance without reference to his board.
The removal of Conway has already given rise to speculation that the board plans to review its stance and will open negotiations with Oracle – even though the rest of the board, which unanimously agreed to reject Oracle’s various bids, remains in place.
Conway recently acknowledged that the acquisition battle had taken a toll on PeopleSoft financially and that many customers had lost confidence in the company.
PeopleSoft has also appointed two new co-presidents, Kevin Parker and Phil Wilmington. In addition, Parker, who is currently chief financial officer, will now take on the role of head of internal operations and Wilmington will be director of worldwide field operations.
The company also announced that licence revenues for the third quarter are expected to exceed $150 million – lower than the equivalent period in 2003 but higher than some analysts expected.