Ax Falls At PeopleSoft

Well, it's official, the layoff count at PeopleSoft has begun as Oracle CEO Lawrence Ellison makes good on his promise to make his $10.3 billion acquisition pay off fast. Friday afternoon, PeopleSoft and, a bit surprisingly, Oracle employees started getting their layoff notices. Oracle plans to cut about 5,000 people, or about 9% of the workforce of the combined companies. While some Oracle employees could lose their jobs, most of the cuts are expected to come at PeopleSoft.

Oracle wants to keep about 90% of PeopleSoft's product development and support staff. While that's good news for a lot of engineers, if you're on the marketing and sales side of the Pleasanton (Calif.) company, there's a good chance you'll be out of a job within the next 10 days.

Friends who work at PeopleSoft tell me they were sitting around the house Friday waiting for an express package to arrive with the proverbial pink slip. That's right. No need to go to the office to find out if you still have a job, the bad news will find you at home.

Oracle will spell out more details of the merger plan Tuesday morning. But it's sure going to be a long weekend for all those employees waiting for a pink slip to arrive on the doorstep. Investors should hope Ellison figures out a way to keep the people who made that software company worth so much money. The last thing he needs is a PeopleShell.

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