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Building an Ambitious SaaS Company: Taleo CEO Michael Gregoire (Part 5)

Posted on Saturday, Feb 16th 2008

SM: What was your role at PeopleSoft?

MG: PeopleSoft was a complete software shop. They had no processes or culture of customer service from an implementation point of view. They did not have a good relationship between people who wrote the software and the people who implemented the software. Initially I started running North America, which was a business unit that was not making money. The five years I worked for People Soft I went from running just North America to running everything except the development and the license sales divisions. I had $2.3 billion of PeopleSoft’s $2.7 billion of business.

SM: People Soft was purchased in that time frame, correct?

MG: Yes. I stayed through December 28th, 2004 which was the day the transaction closed. All of the officers of the company had a single trigger comp package, so all of our stock vested.

SM: When did you join Taleo?

MG: I came in March of 2005. I took some time off after PeopleSoft and I was not planning on taking a big operational job – maybe just sit on a few boards. I had two young children who were 5 years old at the time. I then got a call from John Thompson who is a very well known headhunter in the Valley and we had used him at People Soft.

He just told me this was something I should absolutely, positively take a look at. I asked him why, and he told me that I was the most qualified person there was to lead this company. I asked him to tell me some more, and he said, “It is software on demand, which has huge data centers. Your experience at EDS running large outsourcings contracts and big data centers and your technical background is perfect. Your understanding of software and software consulting is exactly what this company needs; it is a service oriented business. You are an expert in the HR field, which is where this company has focused its products.” That was enough to get me interested.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Building an Ambitious SaaS Company: Taleo CEO Michael Gregoire
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