Founded in 1987 by David Duffield and Ken Morris, originally headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, and eventually Pleasanton, California, PeopleSoft's roots began with an idea Duffield had about a "Client-Server" version of Integral Systems popular mainframe HRMS package. Once Integral declined development and released Duffield to pursue this endeavor on his own, PeopleSoft was born. In 2003, when the company acquired J.D. Edwards, it decided to differentiate its former product line with those of Edwards by renaming both products. In January 2005, PeopleSoft was acquired in a hostile takeover by Oracle Corporation. This takeover was resisted, but Oracle overcame the legal challenge and PeopleSoft ceased to be an independent company, although its products continue to be used.
Beginning in 2003, PeopleSoft battled with Oracle over control of the PeopleSoft company. In June 2003, Oracle made a $7 billion bid ($19.50/share) in a hostile corporate takeover attempt. In February 2004, Oracle increased their bid to approximately $9.4 billion ($26/share), a 33% increase; this offer was also rejected forthwith by PeopleSoft's board of directors. Later that month, the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit to block Oracle, on the grounds that the acquisition would break anti-trust laws; however, in September 2004, the suit was rejected by a U.S. Federal judge, who found that the Justice Department had not proven its anti-trust case; in October, the same decision was handed down by the European Commission. Though Oracle had reduced its offer to $7.7 billion ($21/share) in May, it again raised its bid in November to $9.4 billion ($24/share), marking a 14% increase.
In December 2004, Oracle announced that it signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire PeopleSoft for approximately $10.3 billion ($26.50/share). In January 2005, Oracle made drastic cuts to the PeopleSoft ranks. Although these cuts affected approximately 9% of the 55,000 staff of the combined companies, they have maintained at least 90% of PeopleSoft's product development and support staff.
After its acquisition of PeopleSoft, Oracle rebranded the original J.D. Edwards products to once again include the J.D. Edwards name in order to capitalize on the strong brand loyalty that was perceived to exist within the J.D. Edwards user community. Thus, PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne was rebranded JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and PeopleSoft World was rebranded JD Edwards World.
PeopleSoft has merged with Oracle and a new product Fusion is to be released by Oracle in the near future. Oracle says Fusion will take the best aspects of the PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Oracle Applications and merge them into a new product suite.
Oracle is, however, offering to maintain support for the existing Oracle and PeopleSoft product lines for customers who wish to continue with what they have. The line they are taking appears to be an attempt to prevent customer defections to rival ERP vendors by making it attractive to retain current applications or move to Fusion when appropriate.