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Craig Conway, the former chief executive of PeopleSoft who was pushed out by the board, is to receive an $18m severance package.

The golden goodbye is made up of cash and the value of his share options, according to an anonymous source talking to Reuters.

PeopleSoft refused to comment on the story, but a public filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed the firm was making a one-off payment of $3.2m to Conway. The firm said the money represented "the company's obligation for continued payments of 24 months base salary and 24 months target bonus discounted to net present value."

Conway opposed the attempted takeover by Oracle and was accused of misleading analysts about the impact of the hostile takeover. He was fired earlier this month because the board of directors lost confidence in his ability. He was replaced as chief executive by Dave Duffield who started the company.

Oracle's bid of $7.7bn for the firm looks more likely to go ahead after US courts turned down the Department of Justice anti-trust case. European regulators are still looking at the deal. ®

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