Oracle Layoffs 2009: Sorting Fact from Rumors

by Andrew · 8 comments

If you have any information on Oracle severance pay, Oracle layoff packages or Oracle layoff rumors, email me.

UPDATE as of April 16th, 2009:

Looks like heads are rolling again as Oracle began another major round of layoffs yesterday, April 15th. Maybe Oracle got back less than they were expecting on their tax return? Hmmm.

UPDATE as of Thursday, January 15th, 2009:

  • The Wall Street Journal is reporting the number of jobs cut last Friday at 500.
  • For all Sales Consultants, the word on the street is that Q2 bonus checks are getting mailed today (those not laid off received the bonus in today’s pay check) and Cobra will be sent from a separate outsourced company and takes a “couple of weeks” to arrive.
  • Double-check your severance payout, I’ve heard some reports of inaccurate numbers
  • I’ve heard there are multiple severance packages:
    • Former BEA employees below a Director position get 3 months severance + 3 months Cobra.
    • Former Peoplesoft/Hyperion/Siebel employees get 1 month severance for the 1st year of employment and 1 week for each additional year.
    • Traditional Oracle employees not acquired through a takeover get 2 weeks for the 1st year of employment and 1 week for each additional year, with no paid Cobra.
    • Can anyone verify this? Post a comment.

Original Post:

Layoffs at Oracle began on Friday 1/9, but so far rumors abound while hard facts and figures are difficult to come by. Shocking.

In an effort to sort the wheat from the chaff, here’s the latest separation of fact and fiction:

If you have any additional information send it our way

Oracle Layoff Facts:

  • Oracle hasn’t posted a notice to California’s EDD WARN system yet. (CA Employment Development Department’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification)
  • Oracle has a history of sending WARNs only after layoffs occur. When Oracle announced in January 2005 it would lay off more than 5,000 employees from the recently-acquired PeopleSoft Inc., the state only received WARNs for about 900 workers two weeks after the layoffs occurred.
  • Peter Goldmacher, of analyst firm Cowen, said in a research note that Oracle cut just over one percent of its workforce on Friday (approx. 800 employees) and that the layoffs were spread throughout the firm. The cuts to the services group and the sales and marketing department were the most significant, although most of the sales and marketing staff cuts were in overlay and sales consulting roles, Goldmacher said in his note. The cuts could potentially improve Oracle’s margins, he added.
  • The Times of India also reported Sunday that 40 people were laid-off at Oracle’s development office in Bangalore.

Oracle Layoff Rumors:

  • The Oracle layoffs are company-wide and is in the order of 10-15%, or about 8,000 employees (Oracle employs about 84,000 globally.)
  • Oracle layoffs are rumored to focus specifically on NA Sales, Technology Business Unit, NA Consulting, NA Alliances & Channels, Retail Global Business Unit.
  • One poster who identified himself as a member of online group for former Oracle employees, Club Ex-Oracle, wrote “I can safely confirm that they had laid off 20% of the consulting staff.”
  • Tim Klasell, an analyst with Thomas Weisel Partners, told Computerworld he thought the layoffs were likely to be in the hundreds or low thousands, rather than the 8,000-figure buzzing about on some blogs and message boards.

On April 29 of last year Oracle successfully completed a hostile takeover of BEA Systems… In an effort to stave off the acquisition, BEA changed the terms of its severance in late 2007 so that most employees would receive between 3 months and 12 months of pay and COBRA health insurance if they were laid-off within a year of an acquisition.  According to a December 22 filing to the SEC (see page 12), Oracle expects to eventually spend a total of $148 million on severance packages for laid-off employees of BEA, which it bought in January 2008. My guess? Since the severance package clause expires on April 29 and Oracle’s fiscal year ends on May 31st, if there’s going to be a massive round of layoffs of former-BEA employees it’ll come in May.

There you have it: a complete inconclusive post that confirms Oracle is laying off employees, but throws skepticism at the 8,000 number that’s been tossed around.

Forecast: Partly cloudy, with a chance of thunderstorms and moderate layoffs into the spring. Expect mild waves over the next couple of months, with a chance of shit really hitting the fan in May, if it’s going to at all.

Rumor Mill:

Enterprise System Spectator
Layoff Blog

News Sources:

Wall Street Journal | Oracle Cuts 500 North American Jobs
InternetNews | Tech Companies Begin Trimming Headcounts
Computer World | “Sources, ‘Major Layoffs’ at Oracle, More on the Way”

Photo credit: fabionico