The chief executive of SAP’s PeopleSoft support subsidiary, TomorrowNow, has quit, and SAP has said it may sell off the controversial unit.
The moves are believed to be directly related to the company’s ongoing lawsuit with Oracle, which accuses TomorrowNow of illegally obtaining documents from its PeopleSoft web sites.
SAP said that several senior managers, including CEO Andrew Nelson, have resigned, and that SAP is considering several options for the future of the TomorrowNow business, including possible sale.
While the company gave no reason for the resignations and the possible sale, the announcement was suggestively emailed to the company’s SAP vs Oracle mailing list.
Oracle sued SAP in March, alleging corporate theft on a grand scale at TomorrowNow, known as SAP TN. A trial date has been set for February 2009.
Oracle claims that TomorrowNow employees used customer credentials to download virtually all of Oracle’s PeopleSoft support documents from its web site, as part of TomorrowNow’s strategy of undercutting Oracle on PeopleSoft support.
SAP bought TomorrowNow in early 2005, following Oracle’s acquisition of PeopleSoft. It offered a Safe Passage support program for PeopleSoft customers worried about staying with Oracle.
Oracle claims that in late 2006 it an unusually large number of downloads, possibly automated, from its Customer Connect site alerted it to SAP TN’s alleged activities.
According to Oracle, when it blocked the downloading IP address, TomorrowNow would log in from another of its IP addresses and continue downloading the support documents.
In July, SAP admitted that some of the downloading in question came from TomorrowNow, and that some of it was inappropriate, but denied that SAP proper had seen any of the material.
The company claims that because it used PeopleSoft customers’ own login passwords to access the documentation, the downloads were often legitimate. But it did concede that in some cases it downloaded material the customer was not eligible to view.
As part of SAP’s mea culpa, the company appointed Mark White as executive chairman of TomorrowNow, with a mandate to restore what it called SAP’s high standards.
White is still in charge at the company. He said yesterday: SAP is prepared to manage through these changes to ensure that TomorrowNow’s obligations to its current customers are met.
SAP said in a statement that White is creating programs to continue its support services and retain the remaining key managers and support personnel.