The founder and CEO of SAS said in an interview with Bloomberg News that going public or being acquired are not options for the privately held software giant.
Goodnight told Bloomberg that he turned down two acquisition offers from the same company two years ago, but didn't identify the prospective buyer.
"Most people running a public company would give anything to be private right now," Goodnight said in in the interview. "The word is out that we aren't interested in being acquired."
SAS, which is based in Cary, sells business intelligence and analytics software to companies to analyze their business and predict trends. It has more than 11,000 employees worldwide, including 4,270 in Cary.
Goodnight, who owns about two-thirds of the business, said that his faith in SAS's ability to thrive hasn't been shaken as industry behemoths Oracle, SAP and IBM have spent $15 billion in recent years to acquire SAS rivals.
"I love to see a competitor bought by somebody else," Goodnight told Bloomberg. "It really screws them up for at least a year."
SAS is second in the market for business intelligence and analytics software with a 14.6 percent share, which ties it with Oracle, according to research firm Gartner. SAP is No. 1 thanks to its $6.8 billion acquisition of Business Objects, which boosted its market share more than seven-fold.
Goodnight, 66, said he has no plans to retire.
"As long as I feel I'm doing a good job and making a contribution to the company, I will stay on as the CEO," he told Bloomberg. "The minute I don't think I'm being effective as a leader, I will replace myself."