1. Yeah, Well, the Glass Looked Pretty Half-Full in April
This week's "Mission Accomplished" Award goes to PeopleSoft ( PSFT). For a year now, PeopleSoft has been fighting off what it and the U.S. government say is an objectionable hostile takeover bid from software rival Oracle ( ORCL). And in late April, PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway announced to the world that the difficulties posed by the unwelcome Oracle bid were all but over. "We announced a growth objective for 2004 that was by far the most aggressive in the enterprise application software business, and we are delivering to that plan," he said in a statement. "With most of the extraordinary distractions now behind us, we can return our full attention to our business." Well, Conway sure got that one wrong. On Wednesday, more than two months after Conway assured everyone that the worst was over, he told Wall Street it wasn't. "Although we have been able to meet or exceed our financial projections since Oracle launched their hostile tender offer more than a year ago, the extensive publicity of the antitrust trial during the last month of our quarter was impossible to completely overcome," he said. "We believe the adverse impact to our business has been substantial, with even greater impact this past month." Second-quarter license revenue is now projected to come in 18% below the company's forecast. Total revenue will be 4% lighter. So much for the all-clear signal.
2. The Ken Lay of the Land
We admire Ken Lay's moxie. But we're not ready to start cheerleading for him just yet. On Thursday, the former chairman and CEO of Enron -- that is, the man who oversaw one of the largest business implosions in recent memory -- was indicted on criminal fraud and conspiracy charges. So what does he do? He does the thing that 99% of lawyers tell their clients 100% of the time not to do before trial: He talks. And talks. And talks.