Oracle grabbed cloud-based human resources company Taleo for $1.9 billion today.Funny thing is, Taleo’s CEO, Mike Gregoire, had a long and not-very wonderful history with Oracle. He lived through one of the nastiest hostile takeovers in the software history: Oracle’s takeover of Peoplesoft which closed in 2004 after more than a year of fighting.
About two months ago, speculation rose that Oracle would make a play for Taleo. SAP has just purchased SuccessFactors and the industry was looking for Oracle’s response. Taleo was one of the names being tossed around, reports AllThingsD.
But at the time Gregoire seemed less than interested in being acquired by Oracle. He had been vice president of global services during Oracle’s hostile takeover of PeopleSoft, sticking with PeopleSoft “until the bitter end,” he told AllThingsD.
Years ago, Gregoire had described that period as an ordeal that no one would want to repeat. “Oracle’s hostile takeover of PeopleSoft was 18 months of continuous bombardment from Oracle on our customer base, on our people and on our investors,” he said during an interview with Forbes in 2010.
He opted to stick it out at PeopleSoft even though job offers were flying, particularly at his team. After a few months of that, PeopleSoft’s “defenses started to wear down, and if you had a job that was taking you eight to 10 hours a day, that job now, with the complexity, was taking 14 hours a day,” he describes.
Clearly, $1.9 billion must have been enough to forgive and forget. In the press release announcing the deal, he said, “Joining forces with Oracle gives us the opportunity to better serve our customers.”
Oracle also bought cloud-based customer service provider RightNow for $1.5 billion in October.