Along with Workday’s impending IPO—we’re expecting SEC documents to be filed this month—come the stories of Larry Ellison’s insults in the most epic hostile takeover in tech history, including the one where Ellison threatened to shoot a dog.The story isn’t exactly true. Ellison really jokingly threatened to shoot the CEO of the competitor himself, not his dog.
This all stems from when Ellison took over PeopleSoft in 2005 in a rare hostile acquisition—an almost unheard-of move in Silicon Valley, and the kind of gutsy tactic only someone like Ellison would dare pull off.
That jarring battle spurred PeopleSoft’s cofounder, Dave Duffield, to go out and launch a cloud-based competitor, Workday.
That takeover battle lasted about two years. At one point, PeopleSoft’s then-CEO, Craig Conway, told news reporters that Oracle’s takeover of PeopleSoft was ”like me asking if I could buy your dog so I can go out back and shoot it,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported at the time.
Ellison later retorted that the dog—Ellison named him “Bear”—wouldn’t be his target.
”If Craigy and Bear were standing next to each other and I had one bullet, trust me, it wouldn’t be for the dog,” he said.
The remark—and the man who made it—still obviously ticks off Duffield. He says the day Oracle finally won PeopleSoft was “the worst moment in my life,” he just told BusinessWeek.
Duffield is a big donor to pet-related causes. The San Francisco SPCA has a spacious building, Maddie’s Pet Adoption centre, which is named after Duffield’s miniature Schnauzer.