Workday, Inc.

Workday, Inc.
Traded as
IndustryCloud computing
FoundedMarch 2005; 14 years ago (2005-03)
HeadquartersPleasanton, California, U.S.
Area served
Key people
ProductsHuman capital management, payroll, financial management, and student administration
  • Increase US$ 2.14 billion
  • (FY JAN 31 2018)
  • Increase US$ -303.22 million
  • (FY JAN 31 2018)
  • Increase US$ -321.22 million
  • (FY JAN 31 2018)
Total assets
  • Increase US$ 4.95 billion
  • (FY JAN 31 2018)
Total equity
  • Increase US$ 1.58 billion
  • (FY JAN 31 2018)
Number of employees
  • 10500
  • (FY 2019)
Footnotes / references

Workday, Inc. is an on‑demand (cloud-based) financial management and human capital management software vendor. It was founded by David Duffield, founder and former CEO of ERP company PeopleSoft, and former PeopleSoft chief strategist Aneel Bhusri following Oracle's hostile takeover of PeopleSoft in 2005. In October 2012, it launched a successful initial public offering that valued the company at $9.5 billion.[2] Competitors include SAP Successfactors, Oracle, Zoho, and beqom.


Workday was founded in March 2005 and launched in November 2006.[3] Initially, it was funded by Duffield and venture capital firm Greylock Partners. In December 2008, Workday moved its headquarters from Walnut Creek, California to Pleasanton, California, where PeopleSoft founder Duffield's prior company, was located.[4][5]

On February 6, 2008, Workday announced that it had reached a definitive agreement to purchase Cape Clear Software[6] In May 2008, Workday signed a large contract with Flextronics to provide human capital management software services.[7] Other large, multinational companies that have publicly disclosed contracts or deployments of Workday include Aviva,[8] Chiquita Brands,[9] CAE Inc., Fairchild Semiconductor,[10] Rentokil Initial,[11] Thomson Reuters,[12] and Time Warner.[13]

On April 29, 2009, Workday announced that it secured $75 million in funding led by New Enterprise Associates. Existing investors Greylock Partners and Workday CEO and co‑founder Dave Duffield also participated in the round.[14] On October 24, 2011, Workday announced $85 million in new funding, bringing total capital raised to $250 million. Investors in the latest round included T. Rowe Price, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Janus, and Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment entity of Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos.[15] As of spring 2012, Workday had 310 customers, ranging from mid-sized businesses to Fortune 500 companies.[16]

In October 2012, Workday launched its initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange with ticker symbol WDAY. Its shares were priced at $28 and ended trading Friday, October 12, at $48.69, "propelled the start-up to a market capitalization of nearly $9.5 billion including unexercised stock options." It sold 22.75 million Class A shares, raising $637 million. The IPO raised more cash than any launch in the U.S. technology sector since Facebook's $16 billion IPO in May 2012. Its shares surged 74% in their IPO, underscoring investor interest in cloud computing.[2]

The CEO of Workday is Aneel Bhusri, who is a partner with Greylock Partners and handled senior leadership positions earlier in his career at PeopleSoft. Dave Duffield serves as the Chairman of the Board.

Business model[edit]

Workday makes money by selling subscriptions to its services rather than selling the software outright. Expenses are booked up front when it signs on a new customer but the associated revenue is recognized over the life of multiyear agreements. In first quarter 2016, Workday announced annual revenue in excess of $1 billion for the first time ever in fiscal year 2016.[17]

Corporate governance[edit]

Duffield holds voting rights to Workday shares that were worth $3.4 billion and Bhusri held rights to shares valued at $1.3 billion. Collectively, they hold 67% of the company's voting shares. This voting structure makes the event of a hostile takeover much less likely.[2]


Workday has released 32 updates to its product line as of March, 2019. It releases a major update every 6 months, every September and March[citation needed]

Workday adopted the AWS Cloud as its primary development and testing platform in order to accelerate its worldwide expansion.[18]

In February 2014, Workday acquired the startup Identified and its artificial intelligence Syman to create its Insight Apps line of products. The first products running SYMAN were announced at Workday Rising 2014.

In July 2017, Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri announced that the company had decided to open up its platform to developers, partners and third party software. As a result, Workday will enter the Platform as a Service (PaaS) market.[19] Bhusri said the move will allow customers to build custom extensions and applications to work with Workday.[20]

In January 2018, Workday announced that it acquired SkipFlag,[21] makers of an AI knowledge base that builds itself from a company's internal communications.[22]


Acquisition number Acquired company Acquisition date Specialty
13 Scout RFP December 2019 Sourcing Solutions
12 July 2018 Augmented Analytics
11 Adaptive Insights June 2018 Business Planning
10 Rallyteam June 2018 Talent Agility Platform
9 SkipFlag January 2018 Machine Learning (AI)[22]
8 Pattern August 2017 Team Collaboration
7 Platfora July 2016 Analytics
6 Zaption June 2016 Content Management
5 Mediacore October 2015 Learning
4 Upshot July 2015 Talent Management
3 Gridcraft April 2015 Planning
2 Identified February 2014 Recruiting
1 CapeClear February 2008 Web Services Integration


  1. ^ "US SEC: Form 10-K Workday, Inc". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Clark, Don (12 October 2012). "Cloud-Computing Firm Workday's IPO Soars". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Businessweek - Business News, Stock market & Financial Advice". Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  4. ^ Bing, Jeb (5 December 2008). "Duffield Is Back:PeopleSoft Founder Moves New Company to Pleasanton". Pleasanton Weekly. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  5. ^ Temple, James (4 December 2008). "Workday Inc. Is Moving to Pleasanton". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Another ERP vendor buys into middleware ZDNet February 6, 2008". ZDNet. 6 February 2008. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Workday Lands Software Industry's Biggest SaaS Deal". InformationWeek. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  8. ^ [1] Archived November 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Workday Lands Software Industry's Biggest SaaS Deal". InformationWeek. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  10. ^ "Case Study: How Fairchild Semiconductor leverages the Workday Integration Cloud". ZDNet. 2 May 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  11. ^ "HR Magazine - Rentokil Initial implements cloud technology to manage data of 66,000 staff worldwide". Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  12. ^ "Workday launches Workday 14, wins Thomson Reuters deal". ZDNet. 15 August 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  13. ^ "Time Warner Deploys Workday HR and Payroll Solution". Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  14. ^ Barret, Victoria (30 April 2009). "Duffield Scores Biggest Round". Forbes. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  15. ^ Hesseldahl, Arik (24 October 2011). "Exclusive: Aneel Bhusri's Workday Raises $85 Million at a Whopping $2 Billion Valuation". All Things D. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  16. ^ "Workday Rising: Becoming Part of a Unique Customer Ecosystem". Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  17. ^ Eugene Kim, Business Insider. "Workday says it's displacing Oracle software, as it hits first-ever $1 billion annual sales." Feb 29, 2016. Retrieved Jan 20, 2017.
  18. ^ [2]
  19. ^ Dignan, Larry. "Workday to open up cloud platform, enters PaaS fray | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
  20. ^ "Why It's Time to Open Up the Workday Cloud Platform - Workday Blog". Workday Blog. 2017-07-11. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
  21. ^ Engineering, Workday (2018-01-16). "Workday Acquires SkipFlag". Workday Engineering. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  22. ^ a b Gagliordi, Natalie. "Workday buys SkipFlag to bolster machine learning capabilities | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved 2018-01-21.

External links[edit]