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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Oracle to Layoff 2000 Jobs 178

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the axeman-cometh dept.
Joey Benington writes "Oracle plans to cut 2,000 jobs across the Siebel and Oracle work forces after completing its merger with Siebel last week. 'We will retain 90 percent of Siebel's support, development engineers, sales and sales consultants,' said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. 'Most of the Siebel cuts will be in the back office, and nontechnical staff. The majority of the cuts will be Oracle people, not Siebel.'"
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Oracle to Layoff 2000 Jobs

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    . . . on the news. What a screwed up world we live in today.
    • Correct, but it's screwed up by design, and it was designed centuries ago under a buttonwood tree.

      Stock = ownership.
      Jobs = cost.

      When you cut costs, you please ownership.

      Do not pretend that being allowed to buy and sell stock in public markets means you care for employees. It does the opposite. It makes you yell at CEOs to constantly improve production rates while reducing costs. In the end, this non-resident-owner system results in a totally amoral business climate. People do not matter, and tenths of a
      • Please consider that often times a lay off is the most ethical thing a CEO can do. If you have 10 workers but you can only afford to pay 8, then it is the ethical choice to lay off the 2 before the finances of the business become so unsound that you have to lay off all 10.

        Besides, there's a collective hiring binge in the Bay Area right now. Most of the layed off folks will probably end up at Google with more pay real soon.
      • by IAAP (937607) on Friday February 10, 2006 @09:38AM (#14686592)
        Will be through ownership. I detest this treatment of people like cogs as much as anyone, but the way survive this globalization trend is to become one those owners.

        It's the owners who are receiving the benfits of this mentality who are going to win with globalization - not the workers. They're fucked. Labor, including smart people (90th percentile - .1*1 billion = 100 million very smart people in India alone!), is a commodity, now.

        Another avenue is creativity. Not just the artsy folks, but being creative with new products and services and try to create your own asset to own.

        Just what I've been hearing from folks who are making it in this new economy.

        • You can be eaten, burned as fuel, rendered for industrial grease and glue, and used to make lovely seatcovers.

          Do not ever mistake the sedentary state of the masses for an inability to take what is theirs by dint of number. When you become as dehumanized as your corporate interest makes them, it's not as sanitary.
    • There's absolutely nothing screwed up about that.

      Oracle and Siebel will have common administrative services - of which the new company does not need two. I'm sure they won't have two CEOs, so shouldn't that propagate the whole way down the company.

      Laying those people off - while bad for the individuals - makes the company stronger and more secure. And what's the external measure of strength/security - stock price.

      2000 jobs out of 55000 is, say, about 1 in 30. I work with a group of about 30 people - and o
  • "The majority of the cuts will be Oracle people, not Siebel."

    Oh thats OK then. 2,000 people is still a lot of people...
    • I think he's trying to emphasise that the cuts are needed by the business, since if they were just random the tendency would be to cut people you don't know.

      Let's see, the article says they'll be left with 55000, that means they're cutting almost 4% of the combined workforce. woo.
    • 2,000 is indeed a lot of jobs. However, this needs to be seen in perspective. Following the acquisition, Oracle has about 40,000 employees worldwide and rationalization of backoffice operations, at least, was inevitable. A 5% reduction is reasonable. Just hope the integration of the Siebel business into Oracle goes smoothly, else we might be seeing worse layoffs this time next year.
    • These cuts are so that Larry can maintain his 450 foot personal cruise ship [powerandmotoryacht.com].
  • Its People! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jamesl (106902) on Friday February 10, 2006 @08:50AM (#14686379)
    Oracle to layoff 2000 jobs

    It should read, "Oracle to layoff 2000 people" Not jobs, people. People are losing their jobs. Its a sad thing.
    • I wonder how much help these people are going to get from Oracle in finding another job. Maybe they will get some retraining. A course on how to say "Do you want fries with that?"
    • Glad I'm not the only one to notice that. But you have to admit, it's also sad when jobs lose their jobs. Or maybe they employ 2,000 clones of Steve Jobs. These are the big questions we should be asking.
    • by bigtallmofo (695287) on Friday February 10, 2006 @09:02AM (#14686432)
      It should read, "Oracle to layoff 2000 people" Not jobs, people. People are losing their jobs. Its a sad thing.

      A person losing their job is a scary thing for that person and their family. It's not necessarily sad. What is your philosophy when it comes to this? Once someone is given a job, does that mean they have it for life regardless of performance of the person or the company that person has chosen to align themself with? I can understand this statement coming from a brief moment of idealism or naiveness, but people lose their jobs. That's a necessary and proper action to maintain the economy as a whole. The realistic viewpoint is that most of the people laid off (especially the good ones) will go on to even better jobs.

      That is not sad. Scary for them, but not sad.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Once someone is given a job, does that mean they have it for life regardless of performance of the person or the company that person has chosen to align themself with?

        The person's performance? Of course not! If you're a slacker (or just plain stupid), you need to be shown the door, pronto.

        The company's performance? Well, obviously in the real world they don't, which is why it is sad (as well as, as you said, scary). They may have been sharp as a tack and working their butts off, but because of stupidit


      • The realistic viewpoint is that most of the people laid off (especially the good ones) will go on to even better jobs.

        As each cycle of better software clangs itself onto clueless managers' brains, the managers start to realize that employing real people is a profit negative.

        This is NOT similar to the buggy whip analogy, THINKING people are being replaced now, not just assembly-line workers.

        If you recall, after WW2 many people went into office work. Your experience may be different from mine, but mo
        • As each cycle of better software clangs itself onto clueless managers' brains, the managers start to realize that employing real people is a profit negative. ...and as they steam faster and faster into 'streamlining' and 'outsourcing' they will find that the consumers who are on the bottom end of their supply chain have no money to spend on their products or the products of their customers. Not to worry though, the current CEO's will probably have retired by that point!

          Want to solve all of the world's probl
          • ...and as they steam faster and faster into 'streamlining' and 'outsourcing' they will find that the consumers who are on the bottom end of their supply chain have no money to spend on their products or the products of their customers. Not to worry though, the current CEO's will probably have retired by that point!

            Here's the thing that people don't get... Most big corporations are multinationals. They may give the appearance of being US-based, because that's what they were historically. Not anymore. As
            • I see what you are saying but it seems to me that international corporations mostly make their profits by producing goods in a cheap labour market and selling them in expensive ones. They make their products in places where they can pay cents an hour and sell them to people who make tens, even hundreds of dollars and hour. They need both markets to be successful. They have the power to reverse the market but this doesnt get them anywhere. I still maintain that they are choking themselves.

              • I see what you are saying but it seems to me that international corporations mostly make their profits by producing goods in a cheap labour market and selling them in expensive ones.

                Do you think that all Asian economies will always remain sources of cheap labor? It's still somewhat alarmist hand-waving to predict that China/India will suddenly become economic superpowers on a par with the US/Europe, but that does seem to be the trend. They are cranking out huge numbers of PhDs over there, and China especi
                • It is not just congress but the American people that are, in agregate, short-sighted.
                  If the American people were really concerned about the resources going into technical education and industrial research, but the congress wasn't, the situation would not last long.

                  You imply that money, not votes is what drives members of congress. That is
                  only the case because most people don't pay much attention to politics
                  and are largely influenced by campaign ads.

                  So members of congress go after the money to buy the ads.
              • Corporations aren't choking themsleves.

                Corporations are instruments of Executives and Boards of Directors.

                More accurately put:
                Corporations are being treated as disposible instruments of short-term gain by nearsighted and greedy Executives and Boards of Directors - enabled by ignorant or impotent minority shareholders, and workers, who will be fleeced in the process.

                Q: If you take the pawns off the board, (represented here, by the massive divestment in tech-stocks from mid-1999, continuing through to today)
      • >A person losing their job is a scary thing for that person and their family. It's not necessarily sad. What is your philosophy when it comes to this?

        Its the lack of control that makes it sad.

        You become reliant on the steady pay, the feeling of worth, the "something to do/place to go" because you belong.
        • This layoff is the result of a merger that's been going on for some months now - I can't imagine that people were taken by surprise on this. Bottom line is that you can't work in a vaccuum, blissfully unaware of what's going on in your industry. As soon as the merger was announced, I would hope that Siebel and Oracle back-office workers would be polishing their resumes and looking out for their own best interests.
      • I'm right there with you on the not giving a shit about the people, but pedantically, the headline 'Oracle to Layoff 2000 Jobs' doesn't make any sense, the jobs aren't being layed off, the people are.
      • "The realistic viewpoint is that most of the people laid off (especially the good ones) will go on to even better jobs."

        Do you have any real scientific data that backs this point up? One would think most people get the same level or worse jobs because they are older and less employable.
      • A person losing their job is a scary thing for that person and their family. It's not necessarily sad.

        Tell that to their families, when hopefully temporary but unexpected cash flow problems may result in losing the family home, or having to change schools, or in the extreme case not having food to put on the table. It can take time to find a new job, even if you're good at what you do and you're doing your best to find it.
      • What is your philosophy when it comes to this? Once someone is given a job, does that mean they have it for life regardless of performance of the person or the company that person has chosen to align themself with?

        My philosophy on this is:

        The American Economy is 2/3 driven by consumer spending. When good jobs are lost, it hurts the entire American Economy.

        And when a worker loses his or her job, it may be because that worker was not a good performer, and did not deserve the job. But more often than not, a
    • by Ryano (2112)

      "It should read, "Oracle to layoff 2000 people" Not jobs, people. People are losing their jobs. Its a sad thing."

      Now that you've broken the ice on the pedantry thing, can I just say that it should be "Oracle to lay off 2,000 people"?


    • Its [sic] People!

      I though Soylent Green was people?? Dang it.

      It should read, "Oracle to layoff 2000 people" Not jobs, people. People are losing their jobs. Its a sad thing.

      Yes, it is a sad thing (no sarcasm). However, I would like to point the grammar finger back at you and mention that "layoff" is a noun; the headline should read Oracle to Lay Off 2000 People

    • No, Solient green is people. Jobs is some kind of urban guru.
    • It should read, "Oracle to layoff 2000 people"

      Not just "to layoff", as in to happen in the future, either. Just yesterday, Oracle layed off a slew of people from their Pleasanton office. I don't have any numbers, just word from a friend who was among the "let go".
    • Actually, it should read "Oracle to lay off 2000 people". 'layoff' is a noun (from Webster's [m-w.com]):

      "Main Entry: layoff
      Pronunciation: 'lA-"of
      Function: noun
      1 : a period of inactivity or idleness
      2 : the act of laying off an employee or a workforce; also : SHUTDOWN "

      'Lay off' is the verb. I know slashdot is not the place for English lessons, but if someone's correcting people, he or she should be doing it right.

  • by IAAP (937607)
    Christmas CC bills!

    FTFA: Delivery of the layoff notices has already begun, and the bulk of the pink slips will be handed out in the next few weeks

    I think it's better to get canned before Christmas. That way, you don't rack up a shit load of credit card debt.

    • I think it's better to get canned before Christmas. That way, you don't rack up a shit load of credit card debt.

      As long as it's before you do your shopping. I (and ten others) were notified on 12/13 that my 6-month consulting engagement that began in August and was allegedly solid at least through the end of January would be ending Christmas eve.

      As for "we're laying off Oracle people, not Seibel people"...it makes one wonder whether the motivation was "Let's keep the folks whose attitude hasn't been ruined
      • I just cannot believe my luck, on Monday I will begin a 4 month temp job at Oracle...

        I had a 9 month low-pay contract, so I am eating ramen, preparing homemade chicken, no dining out, no christmas gifts, checking trash bins, no cable TV, no phone, rusty car, using clothesline instead of dryer, and I'm curretly deciding cheapest internet possibility (nobody has wireless I can stea.. I mean use). I would not sleep at all if I don't save enough money to survive six months of unemployment or lo
    • Ever been laid off a few days before Christmas? I have. It sucks. You get to spend the holidays in a funk about losing your job, and you can't really start networking and interviewing seriously until everybody gets back to work after New Years Day.
  • by Jivha (842251) on Friday February 10, 2006 @08:54AM (#14686400)
    What in the hell does laying off *jobs* mean? I thought employees were laid off(or hired), and jobs were created or destroyed.

    Although this could be correct if it were at Apple. Imagine:

    "Apple lays off 1 Job(s)"
    • Larry Ellison.
    • Here's how (Score:3, Funny)

      by aapold (753705) *
      Delete from payroll
      where salary > 150000
      and upper(lname) != 'ELLISON';

      commit;
      • According to the article it would be:

        09:10:58> Update Employees SET UNEMPLOYED_TYPE = 'LAID OFF'
        WHERE UPPER(Employer) IN ('SIEBEL', 'ORACLE')
        AND UPPER(Skill_Set) Like '%NONTECHNICAL%'
        AND UPPER(Department_Type) Like '%BACK OFFICE%'
        AND Salary
        2000 rows deleted.

        09:11:02> commit;
        --
        Oh crap, I just accidentally laid off people from my company with this post. Rollback! ROLLBACK!!!!
        • *Sigh* Curses, foiled again by HTML. I used "<" instead of &lt; Doh!
          • Update Employees SET UNEMPLOYED_TYPE = 'LAID OFF' WHERE Employer IN ('SIEBEL', 'ORACLE') AND Skill_Set Like '%NONTECHNICAL%' AND Department_Type Like '%BACK OFFICE%' ... You don't need UPPER in SQL when using LIKE comparisons...at least the MS versions of SQL. Functions acting upon the column names in the left of equal sign 'WHERE' clauses only force SQL to not search indexes as well, so your query saves precious time and money if you remove the upper function altogether. Think of the company!
    • Oracle decided to hire and then subsequently fire steve jobs 2000 times. Geez RTFA.
  • It started yesterday (Score:4, Informative)

    by jerkychew (80913) on Friday February 10, 2006 @09:01AM (#14686428) Homepage
    I have several friends at Oracle. I heard yesterday that they laid off over 20 people from just one floor at my friend's building. Some of them had been there for over seven years.
    • I heard yesterday that they laid off over 20 people from just one floor at my friend's building.

      Confirmed. A friend of mine was one of the layed off. His severence included WARN, which means that in an office of 75+ people, when 50+ are laid off, they are given 60 days pay. (Or, that's the brief explanation I got.)

      Luckily, another friend there did make it through.
  • Market forces (Score:5, Interesting)

    by secretsockpuppet (953391) on Friday February 10, 2006 @09:04AM (#14686438)
    And Oracle India has been adding thousands of staff during past couple years.

    http://www.dqindia.com/dqtop20/2004/compdetails.as p?rank=19 [dqindia.com]

    Good old market forces in action, folks. Nothing to see here, move along

  • I don't know how many people noticed the subtle differences between what Safra Catz, Oracle CFO said and what Larry Ellison, its CEO said.

    "We will retain...Siebel's product development and product sales and marketing teams," said Catz.

    "We will retain 90 percent of Siebel's support, development engineers, sales and sales consultants," said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Obviously Catz is the one who must be lying because no one would be daft enough(no, not even Ellison) to say 90% if it were really 100%. Mak
  • It seems like a popular move for companys lately to fire lots of people to make them seem 'leaner' and more 'competitive' however the us economy will never pick up if well paying jobs keep going the way of the ghost. if this continues eventually there won't be enough well paid employees to buy expencive products therefore reducing the jobmarket more. this is a bad trend imo.
    • Reminds me of an article I read yesterday on Yahoo Finance. It stated that stocks were rising on both Oracle cutting jobs AND that the US unemployment number fell. It seems like a lot of people say, "I want lots of people to have jobs, but not in companies that I invest in". Seems like a tradgedy of the commons to me...
    • Well, typically this is occuring becuase the company realized that 30% of their payroll was a bunch of Bozo's that weren't pulling their weight.

      Or in the case of the large US Car manufacturers doing this lately, becuase they realized 100% of their (Unionized) payroll was a bunch of Bozo's that weren't pulling their weight.

      Often in these situations the company will actually be more productive (i.e. get more work done) after all these people are gone.

      Of course in other situations the company is just c
    • This isn't a trimming for appearance, the is the buy out. Oracle bought Siebel. Both companies have accounting departments, human resources, upper management, accounts recievable, etc... There is no need to have 2 seperate accounting departments when 1 can run it just fine.

      And beside, it's not like they are getting dumped into a saturated market. Silicon Valley has thousands of openings in other tech companies. Most of these people will get snatched up by Google (1000+ openings), Yahoo (500+ openings), and
      • And beside, it's not like they are getting dumped into a saturated market. Silicon Valley has thousands of openings in other tech companies. Most of these people will get snatched up by Google (1000+ openings), Yahoo (500+ openings), and Sales Force (150+ openings).

        Umm, transfer of skills?

        It is by far not that easy to jump in most jobs from one tech company to the next. Sure, if you're a DBA or C Programmer or SysAdmin it is no big problem, but if you are specialized on some of the CRM applications (which o

    • This isn't always why layoffs happen. I've seen companies developing and releasing a good product, project market growth over the next few years that justify bringing some new staff, then have to cut back wildly as the market evaporates. It happened to a lot of good companies in the dotcom crash, and in the wake of 9/11, even if the companies were well run and actually doing good work.

      When people won't buy even good products, or stop traveling out of justified fear, you have to scale back your staff. The tr
  • and let the business environment pass them by to a point where they go out of business or get absorbed into some other company who fires everyone. 100% job loss later is better than 10% now, right?

    It's too bad for the people who are losing their jobs, but there are always opportunities for talented, resilient individuals.

  • by PeeAitchPee (712652) on Friday February 10, 2006 @09:17AM (#14686496)
    Layoffs are inevitable when one company buys another one. It's not "sad," it's a part of working in high-tech. Redundant positions are eliminated while typically (most of) the best people in sales, marketing, PS and dev are kept. Legal, HR, finance etc. usually totally get wiped out. Get over it and use it as an opportunity to find a better job. As for the Larry-bashing crowd: say what you want about Oracle and / or Ellison, but the fact is that it didn't really matter who bought Siebel -- layoffs were inevitable. The same thing happens when Google buys a company. I've personally been through two of them already in my relatively young career and everyone knew that layoffs were part of the deal. Besides, do you really think people who had been working for Tom Siebel were worried about something like losing their jobs? ;-)
    • Dude - it is sad. What's sadder is people like you who say it isn't sad, it's all about what's "good for the orporation" and actual human beings don't matter. Oh, by the way, chances are good a loved one of yours may die of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. But it's not sad, it's just a fact of life. Get over it and find new loved ones.
    • Also - my guess is the developers and whatnot they'd be laying off are the ones developing Oracle's CRM product, which was/is a dog.
      The whole point of Oracle picking up Siebel was to get the best-of-breed CRM package and integrate it into the Oracle suite. Naturally this causes some redundancies (on the Oracle side) and people are going bye-bye.

      The only irony is anybody at Oracle who thought their job was safe when the acquisition began; if you're on the dog product you should be updating your resume as s

    • ``it didn't really matter who bought Siebel -- layoffs were inevitable.... do you really think people who had been working for Tom Siebel were worried about something like losing their jobs?

      That doesn't quite jive with this:

      ``The majority of the cuts will be Oracle people, not Siebel.''

  • Come on, how else is Oracle going to afford to keep sponsoring their elite yacht racing? [bmworacleracing.com]
  • Two months ago the WSJ predicted that Oracle would layoff 2,000 people after the merger, so this news should not be a surprise.
  • Anyone out there know what kind of severance packages these employees will get?
    • A friend of mine worked at Oracle until yesterday afternoon. He worked in a release group. He is getting a month of health insurance, four weeks pay, and a week's pay for every year he worked there.
  • There went the last chance to have a text column larger that 4000 bytes!
  • 2000!? I tought there was only 1 Jobs and he's working for Apple. Am I missing something? Pixar made clones?
  • I know that this could never be measured in any kind of way, but I have to wonder... how many of these 2000 jobs lost are a result of open source competition? Are these jobs the direct result of Postgre SQL giving away their product? Is this the start of the decline of IT as we know it, because of Free software?
    • None. It's a corporate acquisition. If PostgreSQL were hurting Oracle's bottom line, would they be going on a shopping spree?

      Note: my opinions are not necessarily those of my employer.
    • This is trimming redundancies in 2 CRM packages that are soon to be one CRM package. AFAIK there's no such thing as an open-source CRM solution.
      Of course, AFAIK there's no such thing as a proprietary CRM solution but that's just the cynic in me.
  • Granted, mergers and buyouts almost always mean big layoffs, but this is just another story that will scare people (in the U.S. at least) away from the tech professions. Next I suppose Ellison will make some speech about how it is so hard to find qualified workers in the U.S. because the public education system is so bad.
  • And yet ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SABME (524360) on Friday February 10, 2006 @11:08AM (#14687249)
    ... various government and tech leaders in the U.S. are waving their hands and bemoaning the shortage of tech workers. And wondering about the decline in students interested in engineering and computer science.

    HELLO!??! What kind of idiot works their butt off studing for four years to enter a career that is stressful, demands never-ending study, and calls for ever-increasing sacrifices of personal time in return for a job that offers middling pay and doubtful prospects for long-term employment?

    Oh wait ... I'm that kind of idiot ... Never mind.
    • I think you're not reading the right message from those government and tech leaders. I don't hear them saying the U.S. needs more "tech workers." I'm hearing them saying we need more scientists and mathematicians. Science is the font of innovation. That's where new ideas and new products come from, ultimately. As we transform into an "information economy" -- in other words, a society whose primary asset is intellectual capital -- we need people to generate new ideas or we won't have anything to sell.

      That do
  • BS (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ramjet350 (582868) on Friday February 10, 2006 @11:50AM (#14687653)
    Anyone who tries to justify what Larry did is a moron. I was laid off yesterday from Denver and everyone can tell you it was not about duplicate positions. My manager told me that they never even contacted him to ask his opinion on who to let go. It was all chosen by some executives in California who just wanted to reduce numbers.

    They even had the balls to tell us they might call us if they realized it was a mistake and wanted you back. Does that sound like the "ethical" way to do things for a company?
    • by MKalus (72765)

      They even had the balls to tell us they might call us if they realized it was a mistake and wanted you back. Does that sound like the "ethical" way to do things for a company?

      The problem for the company is that if they start asking around people will find out before the fact and that could cause some bigger problems.

      Sure it is not "ethical" in that sense, but at least they are open enough to admit it. I was caught in a similar layoff once, I wasn't called back, but they ended up calling back an entire group

      • The problem for the company is that if they start asking around people will find out before the fact and that could cause some bigger problems.

        Such as? When I was working at Avaya, I survived several rounds of layoffs before finally being let go. And yes, my managers were being very critical of who was being let go at what point. I saw that axe coming... I just started a project that had a lot of more expirienced engineers already onboard, so I wasn't critical. If they had randomly let me stay and some
  • Wonder what they'll do with the smaller companies they're lined up to acquire. Business Week says they'll be snapping up Zend (PHP), JBoss, and something called "Sleepycat".

    http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/feb 2006/tc20060209_810527.htm [businessweek.com]
  • First, they're outsourcing more work to India, according to printed reports in the Wall Street Journal (not free, so no link). Hence the reductions.

    Secondly, they're getting their hat handed to them by MySQL [mysql.com]. I attended (via webcast) a MySQL introduction, and probably 90 percent of the online chat Q&A was from Oracle Developers and DBAs like me asking about migration from Oracle and tutorials on the same, as well as differences such as the more TSQL-based triggers (instead of the PL/SQL ones that I le
  • Instead of whining about the machinations of capitalism, join it. Go here [scottrade.com], or here [ameritrade.com], or go through your bank, open an account, and start buying the shares these companies have out on the market.

    Way before Katrina came along, I bought $10,000 worth of VLO [marketwatch.com], back when this company was $10. My mouth was watering after they became the biggest oil refining company in the United States (they took over Diamond Shamrock not too long ago).

    After Katrina hit, I had well over 5x my original investment and dumped the st
  • Larry Ellison also eats another puppy today.

    Seriously, just like the Pope looking like the Emperor from ROTJ, Ellison looks like Beelzebub.

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