12:33 PM

Peoplesoft and Siebel considered merging but leadership issue blocked the deal says Ray Lane former Oracle president

. . .and Java fund was huge success

By Tom Foremski for SiliconValleyWatcher

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I just got out from dinner with Ray Lane, one of the lead VCs at Kleiner Perkins and the former president of Oracle. I've got another meeting to rush off to, but I couldn't resist giving you some of the headlines from this meeting--more to follow tomorrow.

-Ray Lane said: Peoplesoft and Siebel talked about merging, and becoming the number 2 applications company in the world, but there was one key sticking point: they couldn't decide on who would run the company. It took Ellison to get them together.

Ray Lane said: IBM should buy SAP; they don't have an applications business, and I don't know why. I said that to Sam [Palmisano] just 8 months ago; and I don't understand why they don't want to be in the apps sector.

On Microsoft, Ray Lane said: Half of me thinks that Microsoft is irrelevant; but the other half reminds me that they still own the desktop. Unless Google can unseat them on the desktop...


In SVW, I recently wrote about the RSS VC fund, formed with $100m to invest in RSS related ventures. I got a lot of flack from people saying it was a lame idea. I said it reminded me of the Kleiner $100m Java fund in 1996, to which I got the response that the Java fund was a giant failure. Well, not so. Ray Lane says the Java fund was very successful; and they have published the ROI on that fund. Kleiner isn't ruling out further specialist funds; a China fund is on the way.

More tomorrow...