Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Notable quotes: Hostile bid ignites the rhetoric

Craig Conway's dog donned a bulletproof vest as the sniping between the Oracle and PeopleSoft crews heated up.

Scott Ard Former Editor in Chief, CNET
CNET former Editor in Chief Scott Ard has been a journalist for more than 20 years and an early tech adopter for even longer. Those two passions led him to editing one of the first tech sections for a daily newspaper in the mid 1990s, and to joining CNET part-time in 1996 and full-time a few years later.
Scott Ard
3 min read
Oracle's hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft created a highlight reel of memorable quotes.

Most were uttered by brash billionaire Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, and by his target, PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway, who once worked for Ellison. Utterances from others involved in the battle also are interesting to recount, now that PeopleSoft has agreed to be acquired, ending 18 months of acrimony.

• Oracle could "use this news (of the hostile bid for PeopleSoft) in order to create FUD with prospects and customers alike."
An e-mail from Oracle's chief marketing officer, sent three days before the bid was announced.
June 3, 2003

Craig Conway, former CEO, PeopleSoft
• Oracle's offer amounted to "atrociously bad behavior from a company with a history of atrociously bad behavior. Obviously it is a transparent attempt to disrupt the acquisition of J.D. Edwards by PeopleSoft announced earlier this week."
Conway's initial reaction to the buyout bid.
June 6, 2003

• "By making an offer with the acknowledged intent of eliminating PeopleSoft's business, Oracle seeks to disrupt PeopleSoft's efforts to complete new sales, thus effectively damaging PeopleSoft's business even if Oracle never buys a single share of PeopleSoft stock."
More reaction from Conway.
June 13, 2003

Larry Ellison, CEO,
• "I think at one point Craig (Conway) thought I was going to shoot his dog. I love animals. If Craig and the dog were standing next to each other, trust me--I have one bullet--it wouldn't be for the dog."
Ellison on Conway's reaction to Oracle's offer.
July 10, 2003

• "Have you noticed how often Larry Ellison changes his mind? First, they're going to cancel all our products, then they're not. Then they're going to fire all our employees, then they're not. He's going to shoot the dog, then he's going to shoot me. So, Abbey and I have decided not to take any chances."
Conway on his and his black Labrador's matching bulletproof vests.
Sept. 15, 2003

Hewitt Pate,
antitrust chief,
Justice Department
• "When we announced the challenge to the merger, we thought the decision here was clear and that the evidence will demonstrate that the merger is anticompetitive and should not be allowed to go through."
Hewitt Pate, the antitrust chief at the Department of Justice, on why the government sought to block the merger.
March 8, 2004

• "I'd like to see what Craig is going to say to abate the concerns of 10,000 people that are traveling down a path that could disappear in three or four years. I'm looking for more than 'don't worry.'"
PeopleSoft customer Mark Anderson at PeopleSoft's annual conference.
Sept. 20, 2004

• "Have you ever had a bad dream that just didn't end?" an upbeat Conway asked a crowd of PeopleSoft users. "We have--ours has been going on for 15 months."
Conway at the company's last user conference.
Sept. 21, 2004

David Duffield, CEO,
• "I'm here for the long term. I'm energized, and I can't imagine a better team to work with."
David Duffield upon taking over the CEO post from Conway about two months ago.
Oct. 1, 2004

• "The board concluded that PeopleSoft is worth substantially more than Oracle's latest offer. We are a vibrant, strong company with a focused, motivated management team and employee base dedicated to executing on the company's plan."
Duffield on why Oracle's bid was again rejected, just a month ago, at a price about 10 percent less than what has now been agreed to.
Nov. 10, 2004

• "This has been a long, emotional struggle, and our employees have consistently performed well under the most challenging of circumstances. The board salutes our employees for their outstanding dedication to PeopleSoft and is grateful to our customers who have continued to buy our products and stand by us during these uncertain times."
A. George "Skip" Battle, chairman of PeopleSoft's transaction committee, after the companies reached a merger agreement.
Dec. 13, 2004