When SAS co-founder and CEO Jim Goodnight visited Silicon Valley last month, he spoke to business leaders about serious matters, including increasing competition in the software market during the recession.
But he also warmed up the crowd with a slightly off-color joke involving Bill Clinton, the Pope and the Virgin Mary. You can read a version of the joke here, but Goodnight told it better, says Aaron Ricadela, the Business Week reporter who wrote about Goodnight's visit and SAS.
Some other highlights of the Business Week story:
-- Goodnight says that Cary-based SAS, founded in 1976, is worth $10 billion to $12 billion today.
-- But he's reluctant to sell the company, despite consolidation in the market for data-analysis software. He's been asked to sell by two major companies and said he would for $20 billion. But he doesn't want to see SAS workers get laid off in an acquisition.
-- He expects this year's sales will be unchanged from $2.26 billion in 2008. Goodnight warned of flat sales last month, but said SAS "might eke out a little growth" if the dollar weakens.
-- Recent deals by rivals such as IBM, SAP and Oracle aimed at attacking SAS' turf will keep them distracted, allowing SAS to continue winning new customers and selling more products, Goodnight said.
Read the full Business Week story here.
It's the second recent write-up on SAS by a national business publication. The New York Times wrote a major profile last month, with an online slideshow highlighting the company's famed headquarters campus in Cary.